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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 

Dedicated To 

The Pioneer Preachers 


Lay Men and Women 

of Methodism 


The Methodist Movement 
In Northern Illinois 


Author and Compiler 


President of the Rock River Conference 

Historical Society 









AUGUST 26, 1840 


Bishop Ernest Lynn Waldorf is a 
native of New York State, a grad- 
uate of Syracuse University. He was 
ordained in 1900 and served such 
churches as Centenary, Syracuse; 
Plymouth, Buffalo; First, Cleveland. 
Elected Bishop in 1915. Came to 
the Chicago Area in 1924. His home 
is Wilmette, Illinois. 









I am hereby extending my congratulations to Dr. Aimer 
M. Pennewell and to those who were associated with him in the 
observance of the 100th anniversary of the Rock River Con- 
ference. The hardships and sacrifices and triumphs of the 
pioneer movement under Methodist auspices were brought 
vividly to the attention of the Conference in an un-forgettable 
way which called for much enthusiasm and brought much 
invaluable information which up to the time of this celebra- 
tion was known to only a comparatively few of our Methodist 
leaders and Methodist constituency. 

If there be such a thing as "sanctified pride", then the 
celebration added to it and this volume will multiply it. We 
who heard the delineation of the circumstances and characters 
and achievements of those who came before us and laid the 
foundations for this, our present Methodist heritage, were in- 
spired to build worthily upon the foundations so well laid. 
Those who read this book will find in it similar inspiration to 
worthy endeavor. 

One happy and promising result is the careful planning for 
the Methodist Forward Movement in the heart of every Meth- 
odist preacher and Methodist layman throughout the Confer- 
ence and expressing itself in some plans for definite action on 
the part of the leadership of every district in the Conference, 
and reaching every church, large and small, throughout this 

We recall the critical hour for England when the com- 
mander of the great fleet raised the signal before officers and 
seamen alike in these memorable words, "England confides 
every man to do his duty." In this spiritual crisis, filled with 
so much of danger to the cause we love, and yet so rich in op- 
portunity if carefully and prayerfully planned and executed, 
we lift the same call for all Methodists of this section. 


Bishop of the Methodist Church 
Resident in Chicago. 



The author and compiler of this volume makes no claim of 
completeness or perfection. It is the effort of a busy pastor to 
gather up the threads of Methodist history in Northern Illi- 
nois and bridge over from the notable work of A. D. Field 
to our own times, in the hope that some future historian will 
present an adequate appraisal of the Methodist Movement in 
this area. 

Our attempt is simply to indicate in broad outline some 
of the elements and trends of this movement, and to gather 
up an elementary story of the institutions which have de- 
veloped under Methodist auspices during the past century. The 
author has not included the development of these institutions 
in his story. He has only made incidental reference to them 
and left it to their responsible officials to tell their own story 
in their own way. 

It has been our aim to make the volume pay for itself, and 
to that end we have made a nominal charge for space used by 
the institutions and put a nominal price on the volume to assist 
in its cost and to insure its wide circulation among Methodist 

We have done the best we could under our limitations of 
time and ability to keep the volume as free from errors as pos- 
sible. For such errors as shall appear, we plead the leniency of 
the reader. 





Frontispiece ------ __ m 

Foreword --------------- IX 

The Author's Apology ---- ___X 

The Methodist Movement in Northern Illinois - - 15-73 
Centennial Program, 1940 -------- _ 74-75 

Centennial Address, 1940 --------- 76-83 

Delegates to the General Conferences ----- 84-86 

Native Sons of Rock River Conference ------ 86 

List of Resident Bishops, Chicago ------- 100 

List of Bishops From Rock River Conference - - - 100 
List of Publishing Agents from Rock River 

Conference ------------- 100 

Minutes of First Session of Rock River 

Conference 1840 ---------- 87-99 

In Gratitude to Alvaro D. Field ------- 105-108 

German Methodist Work and Rock River Conference- 108-110 
Scandinavian Work and Rock River Conference - - 110-112 


Garrett Biblical Institute ------- 113-131 

Northwestern University ------- 132-145 

Methodist Book Concern -------- 146-151 

Chicago Training School ------- 152-159 

Wesley Memorial Hospital ------- 160-178 

Chicago Deaconess Home ------- 179-184 

Methodist Episcopal Old People's Home - - - 184-189 

Agard Deaconess Home -------- 189-191 

Methodist Deaconess Orphanage ----- 192-198 

Chicago Missionary and Church Extension 

Society ------------ 198-200' 

Jennings Seminary --------- 201-203 

Wesley Foundation, St. Paul's Methodist Church- 203-205 

Goodwill Industries --------- 205-208 



The Chicago Methodist Preachers' Meeting- 208-211 

The Methodist Federation for Social Service - - 211-212 

The Rock River Conference Postgraduate Club- 212-213 

The Rock River Council of Methodist Youth - - 213-215 

The Chicago Methodist Social Union - - - - 215-221 
Women's Organizations in Rock River 

Conference ---------- 221-225 

The Rock River Conference Laymen's' 

Association - - - - 225-234 


First Church, Galena - 235-236 

Plainfield ----- 236-237 

First Church, Chicago - - - 237-243 

Belvidere - - - ~ 244-248 

Crete - - - 243-244 

Dundee - - 253-255 

First Church, Elgin 263-264 

First Church, Freeport -------- 261-262 

Geneva - 252-253 

Ottawa Street, Joliet - - - - 257-259 

First Church, Lockport - 259-261 

Mount Morris ----------- 248-249 

Oregon 249-252 

First Church, Ottawa -------- 264-266 

Polo - - - 255-257 

Savanna ------- 266-268 

"Singing Hands" (Chicago Mission for 

the Deaf) 269-272 


Des Plaines Camp Ground 273-284 

Hostel Movement - 284-285 

Franklin Grove Camp Ground 285-296 

Berger Camp Ground - - - 296-297 

Lena Camp Meeting - - - 294-296 

Centenary Camp Ground, New Lenox - - - 297-300 
Camp Epworth Institute ------ -- 300 

Lena Young People's Institute ------- 303 

Lake Geneva Young People's Institute - - - 300-301 

Lake Geneva Hi-Institute 301-302 

New Lenox Institute 302-303 

Berger Hi-League Camp, Dolton ------ 304 

Berger Jr. League Camp -------- 304 


By Aimer Pennewell, Chairman 
Rock River Conference Centennial Commission 

Two events, with important relations to Rock River Con- 
ference, occurred in 1766. In that year Methodism began work 
in the American Colonies. The first Methodist work appeared 
in New York City with Barbara Heck, Phillip Embury and 
Captain Webb as the principal figures. In nine years the war 
for American Independence began. Notwithstanding the in- 
creasing confusion of these nine years, the Methodist Move- 
ment grew. At the beginning of the war 1500 converts were 
reported. During the war membership declined in all the 
churches save the Methodist. At the close of the war 15,000 
Methodists were reported. 

The secession of the colonies made it impracticable for the 
American Methodists to be administered from England by 
John Wesley. The Methodist Episcopal Church of the United 
States was organized at Baltimore, Christmas Day, 1784, with 
two bishops. Thomas Coke and Frances Asbury. This confer- 
ence passed three notable resolutions condemning slavery and 
liquor, and providing for the organization of a Methodist Col- 

After the war for Independence, immigration to the wild, 
western lands began in earnest. With these early immigrants 
were many Methodists, including some local preachers and 
class leaders. These local preachers and class leaders were the 
spearhead of Methodism in these new wild lands. The first 
knov/n regular appointment to the West was Benjamin Young, 
1786, to Kentucky. In 1787 appointments were made to Ohio 
and in 1800 to Indiana. The Western Conference was ordered 
in 1796 and reported 7738 white members and 464 Negro 
members in 1802. 

We have it on the authority of Peter Cartwright, a pio- 
neer Methodist preacher, that the first Methodist Class in 
Illinois was formed by Captain Joseph Ogle, a Revolutionary 
War veteran, in St. Clair County in 1793. Illinois first ap- 
peared in the Western Conference list of appointments in 1803 
in these words: "Western Conference, Cumberland District, 
Lewis Garrett, P. E. (presiding elder) ; Illinois, Benjamin 
Young, Missionary. " This word "Missionary" is to be append- 
ed to the name of many early preachers in Illinois. This "lone 
circuit of Illinois'' appeared in the minutes for 15 years before 
other circuits were organized. In 1816 the Missouri Conference 
was set up, including Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. The Illinois 


Conference appeared in 1824, embracing Illinois and Indiana, 
there being only nine circuits in Illinois. 

The second event occurring in 1766, with special relation 
to Rock River Conference, was the birth of Jesse Walker in 
Buckingham County, Virginia, June 9th. Walker was conver- 
ted in 1786 in a Virginia Camp meeting. Soon after his con- 
version he was married to Susannah Webly. There is a tradi- 
tion that she was converted in the same meeting with Walker. 

The Webiys were a well-to-do slave owning family and Miss 
Webly a society woman. Her father and mother died and soon 
afterward her only brother perished at sea leaving Miss Webly 
sole heir to the estate. Again we have a rumor that she libera- 
ted her slaves. What became of her estate is not known. 

After their marriage the Walkers migrated to North Caro- 
lina, East Tennessee and then to West Tennessee, near Nash- 
ville. Walker was a dresser of deer skins, which in those days 
provided a liberal income. 

Many attempts were made to persuade Walker to enter 
the itinerating ministry. He refused on the ground that it 
would not be fair to his wife, who had been brought up gently, 
to subject her to the hardships and privations of a Methodist 
Minister. He steadfastly refused to enter the ministry until 
death claimed two of their children. Both of them saw this 
event as a providence leading them to surrender to the call 
of God. In 1802 Walker was received into the Western Con- 
ference and served Tennessee and Kentucky circuits of extra- 
ordinary extent until the autumn of 1806. 

In the minutes of the Western Conference for 1806 the 
following notation occurs : "Illinois, Jesse Walker." In this brief 
manner is announced an event of major importance to Illinois, 
Missouri and Indiana Methodism. It may be said, with ample 
support of evidence, that "Jesse Walker is the father of Illi- 
nois Methodism", and this claim in no way detracts from the 
measure of obligation due him from Missouri and Indiana. 
Like a weaver's shuttle he moved back and forth cross these 
three states seeking out lonely settlers, preaching in log cabins, 
holding camp meetings, organizing classes and supervising the 
young and widely scattered work, weaving the enduring fabric 
of Methodism. He was a preacher, pastor, presiding elder and 
missionary to a territory of amazing size. Space forbids us to 
follow the earlier work of Walker in detail. In vision, courage, 
dedication, sacrifice and achievement his name deserves to 
stand among the most illustrious of American Methodism. 
(The author of this brief sketch hopes, in the near future, to 
present a biography worthy of this great hero, a work strange- 
ly neglected to date.) 


Pioneering Northward 

Jesse Walker first carried the banner of Methodism into 
the present bounds of Rock River Conference. In 1823 the 
minutes of the Missouri Conference contain this appointment : 
"Jesse Walker, Missionary to the Missouri Conference, with 
particular attention to Indiana." The Missouri Conference 
then embraced all of Illinois. Walker immediately set out to 
visit the Pottawatomie Indians, between the Illinois and Mis- 
sissippi Rivers, north of Ft. Clark (Peoria.) The Indians were 
on a hunting excursion in Iowa. Walker followed them and, in 
conference with their chief, arranged to open a mission school, 
then returned south. He had been elected in 1823 to the Gen- 
eral Conference the following year. In 1824, in company with 
Thos. A. Morris, afterward Bishop Morris, he rode horse back 
to Baltimore and attended the General Conference. Before the 
Conference he rode to Washington to confer with John C. Cal- 
houn, Secretary of War, about the Indian School, the Indians 
being wards of the government. This trip east required three 
months. Again, in the fall of 1824, he was appointed mis- 
sionary to the Indians and set out for Ft. Clark where he or- 
ganized a school with the six children. In the following spring 
he proceeded northward with five white families, locating near 
the site of Ottawa. Later he discovered that he was not on 
Indian ground and must move. While quite downcast about 
this mistake he went into the woods to pray and was disturbed 
by someone approaching. This someone proved to be Shab- 
bonee, an Indian, a good friend of the whites. Shabbonee 
found a half breed interpreter and they led Walker up the 
east side of the Fox River on a trip of exploration. Twenty 
miles north of the mouth of Fox River Walker found a beau- 
tiful, wooded spot with a spring. He secured a title from the 
Indians and re-located here. The location is section 15, town- 
ship 35, range 5, town of Mission in LaSalle County. The 
ground is now owned by Mr. L. F. Bowen, a few miles south- 
east of Sheridan, Illinois. Here he built a log house, twenty 
by fifty feet, two stories, with five rooms, a smith house, 
poultry and spring houses, all at a cost of $2400.00. Later a 
saw mill was added. The school enrolled fifteen pupils. In 1827, 
Walker reported twenty five members, including one Indian. 
In 1827 John Dew was Superintendent of the Mission and Con- 
ference collector. Walker conducted the school. In 1828, he re- 
ported six members, his son-in-law, James Walker, and others 
having moved farther east. 

The Indians moved westward and left the Mission 
school without pupils. In 1828, Isaac Scarrett was appointed to 
the failing mission. S. R. Beggs was appointed in 1830 to liqui- 


date the property. Thus ended the first Methodist adventure 
within the bounds of Rock River Conference. 

The Conquest of Northern Illinois 

We come now to the Methodist invasion of Northern 
Illinois. Before going into this story we should trace the pro- 
gress of the early settlement of this area. The first settle- 
ments in Illinois were along the rivers and streams. There 
were four reasons why the pioneers followed the water cour- 
ses : transportation, timber for fuel, water for domestic use 
and highways to carry their produce to the markets. The first 
settlers in Illinois were the hardy woodsmen from Kentucky, 
Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. They came by water 
mostly, but some by land. The earliest settlers came in 1781, 
locating in the Great American Bottom, that fertile land 
east of the Mississippi River, between the mouth of the Kas- 
kaskia river and the mouth of the Illinois river. Others followed 
the Wabash river northward, locating in the southeastern por- 
tion of the state. In 1800 the total population of the Illinois 
territory was 2000. Prior to 1812 there were so many discour- 
agements to settlers that few came from the eastern states. 
The unhealthfulness of the country. Indian outrages, earth- 
quakes and insecurity of land titles, held back the flow of 
immigrants. After 1812 conditions were more inviting and 
settlers increased rapidly, coming now from the Eastern and 
Southeastern states. By 1819 the most hardy pioneers had pen- 
etrated to Sangamon county, and the territory numbered 
30,000 people. In 1824 the question of slavery was settled in 
Illinois and immigration from the East began to swell into a 
large and steadv stream and by 1830 the population was 157,- 

We turn now to the settlement of the northern part of the 
territory. Three foci, making a great triangle, were the points 
of departure into northern Illinois, namely. Peoria (Ft. Clark), 
Chicago (Ft. Dearborn) and Galena. There were a few white 
settlers at Chicago and Galena as early as 1816. the Chicago 
settlement due to a trading post and Ft. Dearborn, the Galena 
settlement due to the discovery of lead. The Galena mining 
district had a population of 2000 in 1830. Peoria was settled 
in 1819 and remained for sometime the outpost of inland set- 
tlements. It was incorporated as a town in 1835. In 1825 the 
total population of northern Illinois, mostly at the three points 
just named, was 1236. 

By 1825 a few solitary pioneers began to push northward 
and northeastward along the streams, the Illinois, Fox. Rock, 
DuPage and DesPlaines Rivers. This forward thrust 
was difficult and slow. There was a ferry at Dixon, on the 


Peoria- Galena stage route, as early as 1826. In 1829 there were 
a few settlers at the Dixon Ferry and a post office which 
served the scattered settlers as far as Rockford. In 1830 there 
was one log cabin in LaSalle County. 1832 saw a few settlers in 
Will County. Joliet was a tiny village in 1835. Naper's Grove 
had its first settlers in 1832. McHenry and Lake counties were 
not open for settlement in 1832. Only a few "squatters" were 
there in 1836. In 1837 there were about 300 people in Lake 
County. The Black Hawk War 1831-32 practically stopped the 
movement, all the settlers fleeing to Ft. Dearborn and Ft. 
Clark for safety. However, as soon as the Indian troubles 
were settled the pioneers returned and others began to fol- 
low and by 1837 the stream of settlers was mounting. Then 
came a nation wide financial depression which bore heavily 
upon the scattered settlers and made life almost unendurable. 

Settlement of eastern northern Illinois received a new and 
powerful impetus in 1833 when the first steam boat came into 
the Chicago Harbor, opening up transportation from Chicago 
to the Eastern seaboard by the Great Lakes. In 1833-4 four 
boats arrived, the following year 180, and in 1836, four hund- 
red fifty boats arrived. Another factor to facilitate settlement 
was the establishment of stage routes from Peoria to Galena, 
via Dixon Ferry, and from Chicago to Peoria and Danville. 
Immigration was stimulated by reports of the building of a 
canal from Chicago to the Illinois River — the Illinois-Michigan 
Canal. This proposal produced a land boom all the way from 
Chicago to Peoria. Many town sites were surveyed and lots 
sold at fabulous prices for those days. Inasmuch as this project 
did not become effective until 1850, town sites languished, the 
boom deflated and many people w r ere left with an empty bag. 

Towns first appeared on the rivers, at water falls and 
crossings or in groves. The earliest settlements along the Fox 
River were at Aurora, St. Charles and Elgin. These places 
had small settlements as early as 1834. Following the Illinois 
and Des Plaines were Ottawa, Joliet and Plainfield. The set- 
tlement of the Rock River valley was a little later than the 
eastward movement. Among the early settlements in this sec- 
tion were Prophetstown, Sterling, Dixon, Oregon and Rock- 
ford, these beginning about 1835 with a few log cabins and only 
slowly growing into villages. Freeport was first settled in 
1835 and had fifty families in 1836. Stephenson County had 
a population of 400 in 1837. But in 1840 the population was 
2800. Sycamore was a "dreary village" in 1840. The whole 
Rock River valley had 21,500 people in 1846 and 66,000 in 1852. 
The population of Galena was swollen in the summer season. 
In 1826 it was reported at 1600 and 600 in the mining district. 


During the winter the population shrank to a few hundred. In 
these days Galena was the second largest town in Illinois 
Territory, Alton holding first place. 

With the opening of water transportation, Chicago soon 
moved into a commanding position. In 1820 there were 12 log 
caoins in Chicago with about 60 people, mostly half breeds. 
A voting population of 35 was reported in 1826. In 1830 the 
population was only 100. Two years later there were reported 
6 white families. With water transportation opened in 1830, 
the population grew rapidly; 4179 in 1837, 4479 in 1840 and 
28,000 in 1850. 

With the coming of eastern farmer immigrants settle- 
ments of the prairies began and the open spaces between the 
streams began to fill up. The southern pioneers clung to the 
wooded sections, the element in which they had been reared. 
The eastern settlers were largely farmers from hilly 
country. They were enamored by the beautiful, rolling lands,, 
and speedily settled these neglected districts. 

We sum up the march of settlers in Northern Illinois by 
saying that there were very few in 1830 and in 1840 probably 
not more than 50,000 ; 21,500 of these in the Rock River Val- 
ley, almost 25,000 in the Fox, Illinois and DesPlaines valleys, 
and 4479 in Chicago. 

Circuits and Circuit Riders 

The first regular appointment in the bounds of Rock 
River Conference was that of John Dew to the Galena Mis- 
sion in 1828. The year before he had served as superintendent 
and conference collector for the Indian Mission School. He 
left the school in the autumn of 1828 and visited Galena. It 
appears that he only explored the field for he returned South 
for the Winter and returned to Galena in the Spring of 1829. 
Sometime during the period from the spring of 1829 to the 
autumn, he organized a class consisting of Reeves Carmack, a 
local preacher, Mrs. Carmack, George Davison and wife, 
Janette, and a blind daughter, Sally. Six members were 
reported from Galena to the Illinois Conference session of 1829, 
thus tallying with the number of persons reported above. John 
Dew was appointed President of McKendree College in 1829 
and remained there two years and died in 1840. He was a 
traveling preacher in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and 
Illinois, and a presiding elder for four years. His death occur- 
red about one month after Rock River Conference was organ- 

Walker Proceeds Northward 

In 1828 Jesse Walker was appointed to the Peoria Circuit. 
The old veteran, now sixty-two years of age and prematurely 


old on account of his twenty-five years of incessant hardship, 
entered upon his last campaign for the Lord, a campaign to 
be closed by his death seven years later. As in his earlier and 
younger years, he made history. When appointed to the Peo- 
ria Circuit, the only known white settlers, north of the Illinois 
river, were Walker's son-in-law James Walker and family 
then residing at the place where Ottawa now stands, Pierce 
Hawley, Edmund Weed and J. Hereford and their families, set- 
tled at Holderman's Grove, a few miles northwest of Morris, 
Illinois. (The writer of this sketch, then pastor at Morris, in 
1915, conducted the funeral of Mrs. Holderman, who settled in 
this Grove, coming there in a covered wagon and going to her 
funeral in an automobile hearse.) 

James Walker, in 1819, a nephew of Jesse Walker, married 
his cousin, Jane Walker, youngest daughter of Jesse Walker. 
James Walker was a man of considerable caliber. A native of 
Tennessee, he enlisted in the army of Andrew Jackson and 
served through the New Orleans campaign in the war of 1812. 
He is reported to have been an ardent Christian and held 
prayer meetings among the soldiers. These meetings disturbed 
some of the other soldiers and they petitioned "Old Hickory" 
to quiet the religious enthusiasm of the young recruits. When 
Jackson learned of the nature of the disturbance, he gave 
strict orders that Walker and his associates should not be dis- 
turbed but be given encouragement. James Walker went to 
the Saiem Indian Mission with his father-in-law, taking a horse 
power saw mill along. The writer talked with the present 
owner (1940) of the site of this mission who denied that the 
mission had a saw mill. "There wasn't any water power for a 
mill," he said, overlooking the possibility of using "horse 
power." When Jesse Walker left the Mission, James moved 
down to the site of Ottawa and later moved to a grove on the 
DuPage river, afterward called Walker's Grove. Here he con- 
ducted a saw mill and is said to have furnished lumber for 
the first frame building in Chicago. Walker's Grove was a 
stopping place on the stage between Chicago and Peoria. James 
Walker soon became well known among travelers and settlers 
in Northern Illinois. He and his wife were in the first Metho- 
dist class organized at Walker's Grove (Plainfield). Later he 
was elected to the Illinois legislature. 

From Peoria Jesse Walker began to scout the north 
country as far as Chicago for new settlers. He seems to have 
moved to Walker's Grove in 1828, the year James Walker had 
settled there. 

Jesse Walker organized a Methodist Class at Walker's 
Grove. This class consisted of Susannah Wesley, wife of Jesse 


Walker, James Walker and wife, Timothy B. Clark and wife, 
Edmund Weed and wife and Brother Fisher and wife, thirteen 
in all. Historians have not been able to determine with cer- 
tainty which class antedates, the Galena or the Walker's Grove 
(Plainfield) class. At the Illinois Conference in the autumn 
of 1829, Walker reported 287 members for the Peoria Circuit 
which undoubtedly included the Walker Grove Class. If he or- 
ganized his class in the autumn or early winter of 1828, it 
out dates the Galena class which was not organized until the 
spring or summer of 1829. It will be remembered that John 
Dew was appointed to Galena in the autumn of 1828 and that 
he went up and looked over the ground and returned south for 
the winter. It seems certain, beyond doubt, that Dew did not 
organize the class that autumn. If, however, Walker did not 
organize until the spring or summer of 1829, then it is any- 
one's guess which class was first. > 

Walker's work for the year 1828-29 was largely explora- 
tory, locating isolated settlers. At the conference of 1829 
Walker was reappointed and the name of the circuit was 
changed to Fox River Mission, including all territory north of 
Peoria to Chicago. Again it was mostly territory. At the fol- 
lowing conference he reported twenty-five members, indicat- 
ing that the larger part of those reported the year before were 
on the Peoria end of the circuit. 

Walker had visited Chicago in 1825 in company with a 
Mr. Hamlin. They made the trip by flat boat probably up the 
Des Plaines and Chicago Rivers. Walker is reported to have 
held prayers daily on the flat boat. This being the year he 
opened the Indian Mission, his trip to Chicago may have 
had some connection with the Indians. At that time there were 
white people at the Fort Dearborn. Whether Walker preached 
in Chicago on the occasion is not known, but seems probable, 
because he preached on every occasion where he could find a 
few people. He seems to have kept his "weather eye" opened 
in the direction of Chicago. In 1829, when Chicago came on his 
circuit, the only known families were Doctor Wolcott, Indian 
agent, Jno. Kinzie, John Miller, who kept a tavern at the 
"Point" on the west side, where Walker subsequently lived 
and John B. Beaubien. Besides these were three or four Indian 
traders. Walker had no regular appointment in Chicago that 
year but came up occasionally from Walker's Grove to visit 
and preach. 

In 1830, the name of the circuit was changed again, ap- 
pearing in the minutes as "Chicago Mission". The old veter- 
an seems not to have lost his interest in the Indians. We have 
a letter written by him to Bishop Roberts and dated "Chicago, 


November 25, 1830" which is sufficiently revealing to be given 
in full: 

"Chicago, November 25, 1830 
'After my respects to you, I will give an account of my 
labors since conference. I reached Chicago sufficiently soon 
to meet the Indians at the time of payment; but the agent 
was on his deathbed, and he died a few days after, so that no 
council could be held, or any thing short, be done with them. 
At length, after five days' starving and drinking, they gave 
them their money, and all broke up in confusion. One of the 
chiefs said all must be laid over till the next year. I then went 
to see the Kickapoos and those of the Pottawatomies that 
had commenced to serve the Lord. I had to follow them down 
the Grand Prairie. Some I found on the Ambrose, some on the 
Little Wabash, and some on the Fox. This has taken four 
weeks, in which I have been but a few nights in a house. The 
rains have been frequent; but the Lord has blessed me with 
health. I have returned to this place well, for which I am 
thankful. The Indians express a strong desire to settle them- 
selves and change their mode of living. There are three hund- 
red of them who attend the worship of God morning and eve- 
ning and keep holy the Sabbath day. I can only say that there 
can be no doubt, but if they could get some place, they would 
gladly settle themselves, and learn to read the Word of God 
and till the earth. Such a place is promised them by the Pot- 
tawatomies. It is on the Kankakee, and they are going to set- 
tle there in the Spring. A blessed field is opened at this time 
for sending the Gospel to the North-west. God is raising up 
preachers of the right kind from this glorious work, and nearly 
two hundred Pottawatomies have already joined them. These 
have laid aside ardent spirits altogether, also stealing, lying, 
and all manner of sin. They keep the Sabbath day with all 
possible strictness, and speak feelingly of the divine influence 
of the Holy Spirit, and exhort each other to give their hearts 
to the Savior. I still have some hope that Chicago will some 
day receive the Gospel. Please send me some instructions." 

Jesse Walker 

This letter indicates that he hadn't lost hope of the In- 
dians and Chicago receiving the gospel. 

In July of 1831, Walker was residing at Walker's Grove 
and held a camp meeting near his home. S. R. Beggs, Isaac 
Scarritt and Wm. See, a local preacher from Chicago, assisted 
Walker. When the camp meeting closed, Walker led a party 
consisting of Beggs, See and others, on horse back, to Chicago, 
a distance of forty miles, carrying their food in their saddle 
bags. They arrived in Chicago late in the afternoon and ar- 


ranged for preaching- at the home of Dr. Harmon at the fort. 
S. R. Beggs was the preacher. The next morning at 9:30 
another service was held in Wm. See's log house at the Point 
on the West Side. About thirty people were present. On invi- 
tation of Beggs, eight persons presented themselves for mem- 
bership, namely, William See and wife, Minerva, Mrs. Lucy 
Walker Wentworth and her three children, Susan, Sabiah and 
Elijah, (Lucy Walker was not of the Jesse Walker family), 
Caroline Harmon, wife of Dr. Harmon, and Diana Hamilton, 
wife of Colonel R. J. Hamilton. William See was appointed class 
leader. There has been some discussion about who organized 
the first Methodist Class in Chicago, S. R. Beggs or Jesse 
Walker, The facts related above are clear. Walker was the 
preacher in charge. Beggs did the preaching on the occasion 
of the event. Walker had been doing "spade work" before 
the event, Beggs gave the invitation, Walker as preacher in 
charge must have received the candidates and appointed the 
class leader. Take your choice and remember there is honor 
enough in this event for both. 

William See had an interesting and varied life. He, like 
Walker, Beggs and Scarritt, was a Virginian, born in 1787. He 
did a great deal of moving in his life time. From Virginia he 
went to Kentucky, then to north east Missouri, where he joined 
the church, began preaching, married and had three children 
born to him. From Missouri he came to Morgan County, Illi- 
nois, joined the Illinois Conference, traveled the Peoria Cir- 
cuit, including Peoria, Tazewell, Fulton and Schuyler Counties. 
In 1827 he was discontinued at his own request, by the con- 
ference and became a local preacher, traveling and preaching 
with Jesse Walker. In 1830 he was appointd government 
blacksmith to the Pottawatomie Indians. When Cook County 
was formed in 1831. including Iroquois, Kankakee, Will, Du- 
Page, Cook, Lake and McHenry Counties, See was appointed 
County Clerk. In the autumn of that year he settled on a farm 
near Plainfield. (Many of the pioneer preachers including 
Walker and Beggs, took up farms, land being cheap and income 
small.) Four years later he moved to the Root River country 
(Racine) in Wisconsin and operated a grist mill. Later he went 
to western Wisconsin and set up a mill. In 1850 he sold his in- 
terest in this mill and moved to Texas, returning in a couple 
of years, riding horse back, and locating again in Wisconsin. 
Again he engaged in farming. All the years of his roaming 
about he continued to preach. Farmer, preacher, blacksmith, 
gunsmith, tavern keeper (not a saloon but a house for enter- 
tainment of travellers) public official, he lived until his seventy 
second year, dying in 1859. It may be proper to add here that 
local preachers played a very large part in the advance of 


Methodism. A considerable part of the wilderness was scouted 
by them. In the days of large circuits, when the visits of the 
preachers in charge were few and far between, the local 
preachers held the fort and "kept the home fires burning" in 
many a struggling class and church. 

We return to Jesse Walker. In 1831, he was appointed to 
the DesPlaines Mission and superintendent of the Chicago Mis- 
sion district. Chicago was giving promise of thriving and 
deemed important enough to have a settled preacher. This 
preacher was S. R. Beggs. Thus Beggs became the first re- 
gular preacher appointed to Chicago. One would suppose that 
the veteran Walker would have been given this settled post 
in his advanced years. The reason for the shift seems to come 
from Walker. He is said to have requested Beggs to take the 
appointment and, being unable to attend conference, to have 
written the Bishop urging his appointment. This was in keep- 
ing with his whole, long ministry. He was a man of the trail, 
a lover of the front line, who was restless to move on as soon 
as the country settled up. One of his comrades said of him: 
"Brother Walker was always farther on." He was a trail 
blazer until the end of his life. And herein is the essence of 
his greatness and of the debt western Methodism owes him. 

This new DesPlaines circuit took in the territory east of 
Lockport and Juliet, (the spelling in those days), Hawleys, 
four miles southeast of Naperville, Walkers Grove, Ottawa 
(on the south side of the river) Ox Bow in Putnam County, 
Sandy Creek, south of Magnolia, Cedar Point, five miles south 
of Peru and all the country in between. The places named are 
only regular appointments in homes. Besides these he preached 
wherever he could gather a few people, such places often be- 
came regular appointments. These home appointments were 
the sources of the churches all over this country. 

The Chicago Mission District included all northern Illi- 
nois: DesPlaines Circuit as indicated above, Chicago with S. 
R. Beggs, Fort Clark with Wm. Royal, Galena with Samuel 
L. Robinson and Rock Island with Philip T. Cordier. 

In 1832 Walker was returning to the Mission District as 
superintendent and to the Chicago Mission while Beggs, thirty- 
five years his junior, was put on the DesPlaines Mission. One 
wonders if this was an admission on the part of the old soldier 
that his steps were slowing down. He now moved to Chicago, 
where his wife died during the year. They lived in the log 
house at the Point where the first class was organized. This 
house was his preaching place and, also, used for a school. 
This was the period of the Black Hawk War and so much 
alarm and unrest that little could be done to build up the class. 


At the close of this year, ten members were reported. He was 
returned for 1833-4. Chicago began to prosper. Four vessels 
entered the Chicago port that year and one hundred eighty 
the following season. Names began to appear which made 
history in Chicago. In the Spring and Summer of 1834 Walker 
and his little group built a church house, the second Methodist 
Church building within the present bounds of Rock River 
Conference, the first having been erected at Galena the year 
before. Walker reported twenty-five members to the Confer- 
ence. At the 1834 session of the Illinois Conference, the Old 
Scout of the Long Trail asked to be retired. He moved to his 
farm, which he had previously secured, located where Grand 
Avenue crosses the DesPlaines River. Meanwhile, he had 
married again. He and his wife kept a tavern to help provide 
a living. He held services in his home and preached regularly. 
During the autumn of 1835 he was on his way to attend a camp 
meeting near Racine, Wisconsin and got wet crossing a river. 
Getting wet crossing a river on horse back was not a new ex- 
perience for him. For more than thirty years he had been 
crossing rivers in this fashion, often swimming his horse and 
carrying his saddle bags about his neck. This experience 
proved too much for the aging veteran. He took cold and died 
at his home on the DesPlaines, October 5, 1835 while his Con- 
ference was in session at Springfield. He was buried on the 
farm. In 1850 the Rock River Conference, with fitting cere- 
mony, removed his remains to the cemetery in Plainfield, his 
old home and first headquarters in Northern Illinois and 
dedicated a beautiful stone to mark the end of his long, long 

With the year 1834 Chicago Methodism began to take 
the leading position in Northern Illinois, a position retained 
until this day. During the summer of 1834 one hundred immi- 
grants arrived in Chicago, the vanguard of an ever increasing 
tide. John T. Mitchell, the new preacher, a vigorous and cap- 
ble young man twenty-four years of age, arrived in Septem- 
ber to take over Walker's twenty-four members and little 
frame church. At the end of the year Mitchell reported sixty- 
nine members, including one negro. Mitchell returned to Chi- 
cago in the autumn of 1835, now no longer a "mission"' but a 
self-supporting "station", the first station within the present 
bounds of Rock River Conference. In this year the city reported 
a population of 3265. There was another tide beside immigra- 
tion rising in Chicago and that was the tide of speculation. 
The town was gripped with a mania for quick riches. Chicago 
Methodists did not prove immune to speculation fever. In 
June 1836 the Methodists bought a lot one hundred twenty by 
one hundred thirty feet at the southeast corner of Clark and 


Washington streets, paying down $1100.00, and leaving a sub- 
stantial debt. The get-rich-quick bubble broke in 1837 and 
the Methodists along with all others in Chicago were defla- 
ted. Mitchell reported eighty-eight members to Conference 
in 1836. It will be unnecessary for me to follow the story of 
First Church at present as that story is well told in the sec- 
tion of Centennial Churches elsewhere in this volume. 

To Jesse Walker we may well give the honor of the first 
place in Illinois Methodism. We may with equal justice give 
to S. R. Beggs the first place in pioneering service in the Rock 
River Conference territory. Beggs, like Walker, was a Virgin- 
ian, being born in Rockingham County in 1801. When he was 
four years of age his parents moved to Kentucky, and two 
years later to Indiana, seventeen miles above Louisville, Ken- 
tucky. He was famous for his physical powers when he was a 
young man, possessing a physique which he put to the test in 
his intinerating journeys. Educational opportunities were 
scarce in his day, hence he entered the ministry with very 
meager educational equipment. He gave himself to study dur- 
ing the forthcoming years and acquired a good command of the 
English language for his day. Beggs was converted at nine- 
teen and was received into the Missouri Conference in 1822, 
the conference then including Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. 
His first appointment was the Mt. Sterling circuit in Indiana. 
At the close of a very difficult year he reported an increase of 
90 members. His next appointment was the Lamoine circuit in 
western Missouri, five hundred miles from his first charge. 
He spent two years pioneering in the wilds of Missouri, travel- 
ing as far as eastern Kansas in his quest for souls. When the 
Illinois Conference including Illinois and Indiana was set apart 
in 1824, Beggs transferred to the new conference, being ap- 
pointed to Rushville, Ind. He served the Vincennes, Wayne, 
Crawfordsville, Logansport, and Bloomington circuits in Indi- 
ana, being uniformly successful in soul winning in all of them. 
In 1830 he was appointed to the Tazewell circuit in Illinois and 
thereafter remained in Illinois. An enumeration of the early 
circuits served will give some idea of his far ranging and ir- 
repressible zeal for the kingdom of God. His first appointment 
in the Rock River territory was, as previously indicated, to 
Chicago Mission in 1831. The following circuits were served 
by him: Des Plaines, Bureau, Joliet, Forked Creek, Joliet 
again, Peoria, The Peoria Circuit, Canton, Knoxville, again 
Joliet, Milford, Sycamore, Washington, Naperville, Flagg 
Creek, Paw Paw, Little Rock and Chanahan. He was superan- 
nuated three times before it stuck. His final superannuation 
came in 1856. There after he resided at Plainfield, where he 
died in 1896 at the ripe age of 95 years, full of labors, trials. 


and victories. Beggs was a pioneer preacher, successful in the 
pioneer period but not so much in demand as Methodism be- 
came more staid m its beliefs. In 1868 Beggs published a vol- 
ume of reminiscences entitled -Pages From the Early History 
of the West and Northeast" which is a valuable source of hi? 
toncal data for Methodists in the Middle West 

As indicated in our Chapter on the settlement of Northern 
T^t/v^T began t0 return after the B1 ^k Hawk War 
InlMf^lni ClrCU ^ m ^ TS kept abreast of movin ^ ^tlers.' 
IVfJ f It Ml l S10n appears in the Minutes to embrace 

thf^n P° 1T S °w h n VeSt ^ nd West of 0ttawa and ^rth along 
the Fox River. William Royal rode this circuit. We shall hear 
more of this faithful man who with Jesse Walker, S. R. Beggs 
and James McKean may be described as the "Four Horsemen" 
of the pioneering in the Rock River Territory. 

The Bureau Mission appeared in 1834 with S. R Begff S in 
charge. This mission included the northern part of the Old 
Peoria circuit on the Bureau Creek, and the territory around 
the present Princeton, LaSalle, and Peru. In that year the 
membersmp increased from one hundred to two hundred and 
thirty-one. In 1833 a class was formed at Princeton, which 
soon became the largest in that territory, becoming the heart 
of the Princeton circuit in 1837. After many struggles Prince- 
ton erected a church building, which was completed in 1839 
and became one of the earliest churches in this territory. 

,-ti iq^ B ^)nl neS S rcuit ' P revi °usly indicated, was divided 
J, re -? nd Wl ! ham Royal was put in charge of the northern 
hall, i his portion of the circuit was named the Fox River 
Mission (not to be confused with Jesse Walker's Fox River 
Mission) The new circuit composed all the territory between 
Lake Michigan and the Fox River, from a line drawiTfrom Chi- 
cago to Naperville and Aurora, to the Wisconsin line. William 
Koyal s health failed and the circuit was turned over to Wash- 
ington Wilcox During the summer of 1836, a local preacher 
by the name of Essex explored this sparsely settled territory 
and established most of the appointments which composed the 
circuit As a picture of the difficulties confronting pioneer 
Circuit riders and of the stamina of these "Horsemen of God" 
we offer Washington Wilcox's account of one round on his cir- 

"A severe snow-storm overtook me at Father Hamilton's 
near Elgin in Monday night, which continued all the next 
day Tuesday morning Harvey Hamilton piloted me through 
to Hammer's Grove, where I had an appointment for eleven 
o clock. After preaching, I inquired the way to my night 
appointment at Denny's Ferry, and was told that it was eight 


miles, but that I could not find it in such a storm. Not having 
admitted that "can't" had a place in language, I wished to 
know why I could not find the place, and was informed that 
I had to go four miles across the prairie, and then four miles 
through the barren, without any track or marks to direct me, 
and, although they knew the place well, they could not find it 
that day. I reluctantly concluded that if those who knew 
where the place was could not find it, probably I could not. 

"The next morning the snow was thirteen inches deep. I 
then inquired for Plumb Grove, the place of my next appoint- 
ment. Brother Hammer, being a new settler, did not know 
where the grove was, but said that across the prairie four 
miles Mr. Miller, one of the oldest settlers of the country, lived 
and he could tell all about the groves. I mounted my pony 
and plodded through the snow until I reached the grove, but 
the brother had forgotten to tell me that Miller lived in the 
center, and that there was neither track nor mark to tell me 
where to look for the place. Being a Yankee I had to fall back 
on the privilege of guessing, so I guessed that like everybody 
I had found he lived somewhere on the side of the grove. I 
started on in an easterly direction, and soon discovered the 
body of a house among some trees, standing a little out from 
the main grove, and made my way for the same. After cross- 
ing a small lake, which I mistook for a meadow, I reached the 
house and found it without windows and uninhabited. I start- 
ed on, and after riding two miles came to a place where some 
one lived. I made inquiry for Plumb Grove and received for 
answer that they were strangers, having just arrived in the 
country, and did not know the names of the groves. 

"By this time I concluded it was a wild-goose chase to 
look for any one who knew where Plumb Grove was situated. 
What was I to do? I knew enough of the location to know 
that it must lie further east, and as the clouds had broken so 
that I could see the sun I laid my course as near east as I 
could. The country was all a vast sea of snow, except in the 
direction which I called east, where I could see the top of some 
trees, which proved to be a small grove. When I reached this 
landmark and wound around it awhile I found some cattle 
feeding at a stack. I looked until I found a path leading into 
the midst of the grove. This I followed until I found a log 
hut containing a man of whom I learned that Plumb Grove was 
in sight only three miles distant. I reached the grove and 
found the congregation waiting, as it was a little past the hour 
of preaching. After meeting I rode to Elk Grove, and preached 
at night. The next day I preached at Dunkley's Grove and at 
Walker's Bridge. The next day there was another heavy snow 

storm, making the snow about two feet deep. That dav I had 

be aUhTmou'roSab ¥ **£ ^T mi "' but the "^Thad'to 
oe at rne mouth ot Salt Creek at eleven o'clock, then cross the 

prairie and barren to Flagg Creek, where there was no track 
Iane,OT other sign to guide me. track ' 

"The next day was Sunday and brought me armmri f« 
Brother Clifford's where I had left my w fa The friends had 
tried to comfort her with the assurance that I wou d not at 
tempt to travel; that the people would not let mertart as no 
one Pretended to travel at such times. But sheTonc uded they 
did not know the man they were talking about. On Monday I 
had to go forward to Charles Gary's near Turner Timrtinn 
(west of Wheaton) where I had arrLged for my wife to have 

W°T; AS L had n ° team J made arrangements to have hlr 
brought over the next day. About sunset on Monday it beean 

wa^n ?f C T^ U 1 raining twe "ty-four hours untif the snow 
was so saturated with water it was ready to run off in a bodv 
when it suddenly turned to a hard freeze, so that it froze over* 
springs that were never known to be frozen before This cov- 
ered the country with ice, and made splendid travel ng for the 
remainder of the Winter. But when the ice began to break up 
we had a time that tried man and beast P 

"On the 11th of March I left Charles Gary's to go up the 

fether'ofrLw 6 r 6ek - A V^ Same time Mr Ama g sa Gary! 
Confere,^ iff! t Gary ' and £ e ° rge Gary ' of the Black River 
ThP fZ, ' V° g ° UP ° n the other side t0 reach his home. 
Parv ln g =i\f S ° ^J" man , COuld see but a little distance. Mr. 
hnZ K I w ay- and perished within a half a mile of his own 
f ^™ la V el ^ ht or nine days before he was found I at- 
tended his funeral March 17, 1837, on Friday, a warm and 
thawing day. After this it turned very cold again On Sat 

£h ay i ] SS,T > r st M ted -l or Chicago to spei " e Sab: 

<m»r tK a0n !u° n ? e ndge until J reach ed Salt Creek 
i,H. ™ ang6 \ Th i S Stream had a hi « h b ank on the west 
side There was a bridge across on a level with the bank, and 
then a wing at a steep inclination to go down to a low flat on 
the other side I rode cross the main bridge, but when mv 
horse stepped he sank down midside into the water. We now 
had nothing to do but to wade ashore. We passed on to the big 
slough where the water was about a hundred yards across and 
three feet deep The thaw the day before had loosened the 
ice from the bottom. My horse plunged in, breaking the ice- 
when tired of this he broke for the shore. I spurred in agato 
and went until I was glad to back out. Go back, I could not for 
it was impossible to get on to the Salt Creek Bridge, and I did 

?™, M 7 Whe i h6r l C ° Uld get 0Ut north or south - as I had never 
traveled in either direction. I rode up stream a little way and 


put out to sea again, when happily I found ice strong enough 
to bear the horse. I alighted and led forward, one foot of the 
horse frequently breaking through the rotten ice. In this way 
we went within a few yards of the shore, and came to open 
water. I then began to contrive how to get my horse down into 
the water and get on his back, when the ice gave way and let 
us down. Of course we had nothing to do but wade out as best 
we could. I went forward two miles to the Des Plaines. Here 
I crossed on the bridge, but the east bank was low, so that 
when we got off the bridge the horse was midside in water, 
and a sharp piece of ice setting out from the shore up to the 
breast of the horse. There was no going around. The horse 
made a spring and threw his fore feet on to the ice, which im- 
mediately gave way. In this way we reached the shore, the 
horse breaking the ice before him. The Chicago flat, ten miles 
across, was now to be traveled. It was covered with ice the 
greater part of the way, in places strong enough to bear the 
horse with a man, while some of the way it would not bear a 
man alone. During the whole day it had been freezing, so that 
when I arrived in Chicago myself and horse were covered with 

"I spent a pleasant day in Chicago. On Monday I started 
up the North Branch of the Chicago River. When I was out 
some six miles I called on the family of a local preacher, and 
found them coming down from the loft, where they had been 
held prisoners some time by the waters, which had submerged 
the lower floor. On my way out I fell in company with a super- 
annuated preacher from Maine, and we traveled on to Deer 
Grove, south of Libertyville. Before we reached the grove we 
came to a creek covered with ice, concerning the depth of 
which we could tell nothing. I threw my saddle-bags over, and 
then on full charge jumped across. The brother then drove 
my horse in, and he broke the way for the brother to ride 
across. From Deer Grove I made my way to Oplain, forty miles 
north of Chicago, and then turned up the lake thirteen miles, 
and stayed at Brother Shield's. After crossing the channel of 
the stream on the bridge the horse had to make his way 
through water a long way across the flat. The next morning I 
had to cross the Oplain to a point over four miles south of 
Libertyville. I started directly for the point, crossed the Chi- 
cago River, and reached the Oplain (Des Plaines), where the 
water was about ten feet deep, and covered with ice, which lay 
on the top of the water. It being impossible to cross I had to 
retrace my steps and return north thirteen miles, and after 
crossing the river returned south the same distance. The next 
morning, I started for Wheeling, but when I reached Buffalo 
Creek (not to be confused with Buffalo Grove, Ogle County) 


the banks were overflowed with water and ice. Taking a pole 
from the fence I broke a way before my horse to the log 
bridge., to find the logs afloat and rolling in the water. Here 
I came to a stand still. To cross was to risk the spoiling of a 
borrowed horse, and if I should get to the place of meeting 
the people could not get there. I retired and halted until morn- 
ing. To proceed then was to swim creeks nearly every day for 
a week, with any amount of ice, and on reaching the appoint- 
ments I would not be likely to find many people. I was now 
where I could take a ridge and get home in safety; so I con- 
cluded to try the road home. But in going home the water often 
flowed into my boots while sitting on my horse. Thus ended the 
breaking up of the Winter in 1837. About one hundred were 
added to the Church this year, and about the same on Dupage 
Circuit the second year." 

This circuit embraced thirty two appointments, all the 
way from Lake Shore Road, thirty miles north of Chicago, and 
Elgin to Naperville, and Aurora. 

We pass now to the western part of the state to trace 
developments there. Galena, the first appointment does not ap- 
pear to have reached effectively eastward from Galena, the 
movement was north and northwest into Wisconsin territory 
and westward into Iowa territory — as early as 1833 we find 
the Dubuque Mission attached to Galena. From this beginning- 
sprang Iowa Methodism, a part of Rock River Conference until 
the Iowa Conference was set in 1844. 

Historians of Wisconsin Methodism say that John Dew 
visited the southwestern portion of Wisconsin when he went 
north to Galena on an exploration trip in the atumn of 1828. 
The Galena Advertiser of August 15, 1829 reports that John 
Dew held a "two day meeting" on Fever River, twelve miles 
north of Galena in Wisconsin. When John T. Mitchell was ap- 
pointed to Galena in October 1832, Mitchell energetically and 
successfully carried forward work among miners at Platville, 
Mineral Point, Wiota and Dodgeville in Wisconsin. From these 
points Methodists worked out into the territory as rapidly as 
it was settled, reaching the point in 1848 where the work 
warranted a separate conference, the Wisconsin. 

Galena was also the spring-board for missionary work 
among the Indians. The Illinois Conference had long been in- 
terested in the Indians. The appointments of 1835 show Al- 
fred Brunson, a veteran Indian Missionary and preacher, was 
appointed "Superintendent and Missionary to the Indians on 
Upper Mississippi." More, later, of this missionary adventure 
among the Indians. 

The appointments of 1834 show a new mission in Western 


Illinois territory, Buffalo Grove Mission with L. A. Sugg in 
charge. This new mission embraced all the country between the 
Rock River and the Mississippi River, from Rock Island to 
Freeport. Sugg was taken sick and died in June of 1835. At 
the autumn conference this mission reported thirty members, 
all the Methodists in the territory indicated alone, save 

The Buffalo Grove class eventuated into the Methodist 
Church of Polo. James McKean succeeded Sugg and organ- 
ized the Buffalo Grove Class in 1836, consisting of five mem- 
bers: George D. H. Wilcoxen and wife Nancy, and thirteen 
year old daughter, (later Mrs. N. A. Mason in Polo) ; Mrs. Mary 
Smith and Oliver W. Kellog. At that time there were sixteen 
families in the neighborhood. In 1836 the circuit had regular 
appointments at Washington Grove, Bvron (near Freeport), 
Buffalo Grove and Elkhorn with one or two east of the Kock 

River. By 1837 appointments were at Byron (on Rock River), 
where a class was formed, Mt. Morris, Light House, Dixon, 
Savannah and Lee Center. The membership reported for Buf- 
falo Grove circuit was 222 in 1836 and 345 in 1839. 

If we watch these original missions, Des Plaines, Ottawa 
and Buffalo Grove, we will see a steady growth and division 
into new circuits, much as a living cell functions. Des Plaines 
mission divides and becomes circuits as follows: Fox River, 
Sycamore, Joliet, DuPage, Somanoc, Forked Creek, Thorn- 
ton, Elgin, Rockford, Wilmington, Crete, Crystal Lake, Roscoe 
and Bristol. Thus the Des Plaines, Du Page and Fox River 
valleys were penetrated before Rock River Conference was 
organized. Looking southward we see the Ottawa Mission 
dividing and extending in such circuits as Bureau and Prince- 
ton, Milford and Indian Creek, filling up the country between 
the Rock, Fox and Illinois Rivers. Looking westward we watch 
the Buffalo Grove Mission break up into circuits : Apple River, 
east of Galena, Pecatonica, Freeport and Dixon. 

These movements had covered all the land in northern 
Illinois except that between the Fox River and Rock River, 
these settling later. From the chain of appointments along the 
two rivers, this hinterland was occupied by Methodists as 
as rapidly as it settled. When Rock River Conference was or- 
ganized in 1840 there were twenty six charges within the pre- 
sent bounds. For the sake of the record let us name them: 
Chicago, Lake, Wheeling, Elgin, Crystal Lake, Roscoe and Bel- 
videre, Rockford, Sycamore, Du Page, Naperville, Ottawa, Mil- 
ford, Wilmington, Juliet, Lockport, Indian Creek, Princeton, 
Bristol, Buffalo Grove, (Polo), Dixon, Portland, Stevenson, 
Savanna, Galena, Apple River, Freeport. These charges were 
all circuits except Chicago. It should be noted that there was 


only one Methodist church in Chicago in 1840. Of these twenty 
six charges there were only seven known church buildings at : 
Galena, Chicago, Plainfield, Juliet, Princeton, Elgin and a 
country church at Mark Nobles. The remainder of the preach- 
ing places were school houses and homes. 

The reports on memberships during the period we have 
now covered tell the story of the aggression of the circuit 
riders and of their effectiveness. The reports of members 
from missions and circuits within present bounds of Rock 
River Conference during this period are as follows: 1829, 6; 
1830, 87; 1831, 87; 1832, 66; 1833, 145; 1834, 398; 1835, 517; 
1836, 1117; 1837, 1431; 1838, 1804; 1839, 2900; and 1840, 
the year Rock River Conference was organized, 3654. 

Let us now break these totals down into separate missions 
and circuits: 

1829, Galena Mission, 6; 

1830 Galena Mission, 12 ; Fox River Mission, 75 ; 

1831, Galena Mission, 75; Chicago, 12; 

1832, Galena Mission, 22; Chicago, 10; DesPlaines Mis- 
sion, 34; 

1833, Galena Mission, 48; Chicago, 40; Des Plaines Mis- 
sion, 57; 

1834, Galena Mission, 88; Chicago, 25; Des Plaines Ct., 
117; Ottawa Ct, 168; 

1835, Galena Mission, 30; Chicago, 69; Des Plaines Ct., 
160; Ottawa Ct., 128; Bureau M., 100; Buffalo Grove Ct., 

1836, Chicago, 119; Galena, 40; Des Plaines, 253; Ottawa 
Mission, 167; Bureau Mission, 231; Fox River Ct., 119; Buf- 
falo Grove Ct., 220; 

1837, Chicago, 90; Galena, 25; Des Plaines Ct., 208; Sy- 
camore Ct., 174; Juliet Ct., 237; Picatolica Ct, 132; Apple 
River Ct., 62; Buffalo Grove Ct, 184; Bureau Ct., 220; Ottawa 
Ct. 99 * 

' 1838, Chicago, 79; Galena, 74; Des Plaines Ct., 106; Du- 

Page Ct., 261; Sycamore Ct., 174; Somanoc, ; Juliet Ct., 

168; Forked Creek Ct., 110; Thornton M., 54; Ottawa Ct., 105; 
Apple River Ct., 102; Picatolica Ct, 170; Buffalo Grove Ct., 
183 ; Princeton Ct., 218 ; 

1839, Chicago, 168 ; Elgin Ct., 282 ; Des Plaines Ct., 262 ; 
Rockford Ct., 395; Somanoc Ct, 100; Sycamore Ct, 160; 
Ottawa Ct, 145; Wilmington Ct, 96; Juliet Ct., 225; Crete 
Mission, 67 ; Galena Mission, 33 ; Apple River Ct., 131 ; Freeport 
Ct., 223 ; Buffalo Grove Ct., 345 ; Princeton Ct., 268 ; 

1840, Chicago, 150; Elgin Ct, 401; Crystal Lake Ct., 232; 
Roscoe Ct., 78 ; Rockford Ct., 185 ; Sycamore Ct., 219 ; Bristol 
Ct, 124; Du Page Ct, 314; Ottawa Mission, 24; Millford Ct, 


214; Wilmington Ct, 178; Crete Mission, 77; Juliet Ct, 220; 
Indian Creek Ct., 133; Princeton Ct, 218; Galena, 68; Apple 
River Ct, 154; Freeport Ct, 403; Buffalo Grove Ct, 262; 
Dixon Ct. — . 

Retrospect : 

Looking back over this period of Methodism in Northern 
Illinois one sees its predominent characteristics are missionary 
and evangelistic The first circuit riders were missionaries. 
They could not live by the "Word of God" alone. They and 
their families, where there were families, required bread, shel- 
ter and clothing. These the settlers were too few and too far 
to supply. Hence missionary funds were required. The first 
missionary society within the bounds of the Illinois Conference 
was organized at Mt. Carmel, Edwards County, July 22, 1820. 
Its primary purpose was missions to the Indians. This interest 
in the Indians continued on into Rock River Conference and 
thence until as late at 1860. The missionary interest of Illi- 
nois spread beyond the Indians to the whites in the newly 
settled areas. A conference missionary society was organized 
in 1825. Thereafter appeared a new question in the Conference : 
"What amount has been raised for missionary purposes ?" The 
first answer to this question, according to the general minutes, 
indicates the sum of $1,675.00 for the year of 1831. In 1837 the 
amount reached $3989.00. The appropriations for the year 1831 
allows $200.00 to Chicago and $250 to Galena. Thereafter, un- 
til Rock River Conference was organized, the appropriations 
continued for the circuit riders' support. The amounts ranged 
from $50.00 to $200.00 per circuit. When the Rock River Con- 
ference was set apart in 1840, a missionary society was organ- 
ized and all the work in Northern Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin 
was taken over. The appropriations for the first year totaled 
$6848.00, of which amount only $350.00 came within Illinois; 
$50.00 for the Savannah circuit and $300.00 for three presiding 
elders. During the years 1840-1858 the Rock River Conference 
Missionary Society disbursed $64,837.00 as follows: For In- 
dian missions, $15,787.00; for Swedish missions, $7,300.00; 
for German missions, $23,320.00; for English missions, $18,- 
430.00. It should be noted that many charges within northern 
Illinois became self-supporting by 1840. Also it should be re- 
membered that the major portion of the money expended for 
missions came from the eastern conferences. 

One cannot but stand in reverence in the presence of the 
memory of the early "horsemen of God." They were men of 
heroic, pioneering character, consumed with a passion for God 
and human souls. They lived mostly in the saddle, following 
dim and seldom used trails, or else breaking new trails. Many 


a mile of modern highway in this section follows the trails 
opened by the adventurous circuit riders. If any group of men 
ever "bet their all on God", it was these pioneering Metho- 
dist preachers who, without hope of earthly reward, literally 
wore themselves out for Christ's sake. In perils oft, in tribu- 
lations and weariness, they sought the last lonely, hard pres- 
sed settler to "give him Christ." 

The earliest preachers were of the southern woodsmen 
pioneer stock from Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and 
Kentucky. In this group were such men as Peter Cartright of 
Virginia, presiding elder, whose district reached up the west 
side of the state from Kaskaskia to Galena and up the east 
side to Chicago, with John Dew and Jesse Walker, respectively, 
at these far outposts; John Sinclair of Virginia, presiding 
elder on the Chicago district beginning 1833 ? Jesse Walker, 
John Dew, S. R. Beggs, William Royal, John T. Mitchell, W. W. 
Mitchell and John Sinclair were all from Virginia; Hooper 
Crews and S. L. Robinson were from Kentucky; Peter Borein 
from Kentucky and Burton Randle from Georgia. This list of 
southerners might be further extended with more adequate 
knowledge. These southerners were passionately evangelistic 
and emotional preachers. 

This strain was soon crossed by eastern men, evangelistic, 
but less emotional, men who brought a new tradition to this 
new country, the educational tradition. In this list we may 
place presiding elders Wilder B. Mack from Vermont, John 
Clark and Alfred Brunson from New York. To these may be 
added M. Shunk, Pennsylvania ; L. S. Walker, New Hampshire, 
W. S. Crissley, Connecticut; Milton Bourne, Massachusetts; 
Robert DeLap, Ohio; Luke Hitchock, New York, and many 

Most of the outstanding laymen of the period under con- 
sideration were eastern men, due to the fact that northern 
Illinois was largely settled by eastern people. It may be said 
that every educational institution of this territory has a 
group of eastern men behind it. 

We will add here a list of the preachers who appeared 
within the present bounds of Rock River Conference from 
1828 to 1840. Those marked * were in Rock River at organi- 
zation in 1840. 

In 1828, Jesse Walker; John Dew; Peter Cartwright, P. 
E.: 1829, Benjamin Stephenson: 1830, S. L. Robinson; 1831, 
S. R. Beggs ; 1832, * Jno. T. Mitchell ; 1833, Wm. Royal ; Barton 
Randle; *John Sinclair; 1834, Daniel Blackwell; L. S. Sugg; 
*Hooper Crews ; 1835, * Wellington Weigley ; Wilder B. Mack, 
P. E. ; S. F. Whitney; *Elihu Springer; Alfred Brunson, P. 


E.; 1836, *John Clark, P. E.; Otis F. Curtis; Stephen Arnold; 
Henry Summers; J. W. Pope; M. Shunk; James McKean; 
*Rufus Lummery; 1837, D. Coulson; Amos Wiley; Peter R. 
Borein: Washington Wilcox; R. W. Clark; *Wm. Caddis; *L. 
S. Walker; Wm. S. Crissey; *Milton Bourne; S. P. Keyes; 
Bartholomew Weed ; Wm. W. Mitchell ; Colon D. James ; Robert 
Delap; Zadoc Hall; 1838, H. W. Frink; *J. M. Snow; Nathan 
Jewett; Asbury Chenowith; J. L. Bennett; Jno. Gilham; 
Isaac Pool; Riley E. Hills; Geo. Smith: 1839, *Samuel Pills- 
bury; G. G. Worthington: Luke Hitchcock; *Jno. Nason; *Ora 
A. Walker; *J. W. Whipple, L. F. Moulthrop; A. F. Rogers; 
* Wm. Kimball ; * Wm. Valette ; *Wesley Batchellor. 

Let us repeat that the period of 1828 to 1840 was distinctly 
a period of preparation and seed sowing, seeking out the scat- 
tered settlers, opening preaching places in homes and school 
houses, organization of small classes, holding camp meetings, 
building up far-reaching circuits and laying the foundations 
for future churches. It was a period comparable in zeal, sacri- 
fice and power witli any in Methodist history. 

Organization of Rock River Conference 

If we have seemed to give an unusual amount of space to 
the earlier period of our history it is because the history of 
that period is less known and more difficult to discover than 
this which follows, and because the former period made pos- 
sible the later with which we now deal. 

Let us here insert a letter written by Bishop Beverly 
Waugh, who organized the Conference, written to The Chris- 
tion Advocate after he had set up the Conference : 

"Messrs. Editors, From Marshall, Michigan, I took the 

stage for the mouth of St. Joseph, on Lake Michigan. We star- 
ted in a coach, but, before the journey was half accomplished, 
found an open wagon substituted for the coach, in which, ex- 
posed to the burning rays of the sun a part of the time, and to 
the rain another portion, we traveled until near sunset. We 
were then permitted to take a seat again in a covered carriage. 
This was well ; for we had a tremendous storm of wind, thun- 
der, lightning and rain, for some hours. At midnight I was 
glad to get to rest at St. Joseph, after a most unpleasant fati- 
guing, and dangerous travel of nearly twenty-four hours .... 
"From St. Joseph I crossed the lake to Chicago. The steamboat 
was small and uncomfortable; totally unfit for navigating 
such a vast body of water. We left St. Joseph about ten o'clock 
in the morning, and reached Chicago about midnight. I was 
thankful, and not a little glad, when I found myself again on 
shore. The whole route from Marshall to Chicago was disa- 


greeable, and I feel it a duty I owe to the traveling community 
to advise them to avoid it, until the preparations and the ac- 
commodations are improved. I cannot say that Chicago equalled 
my expectations. The houses are generally inferior and badly 
built. In this respect, however, they are improving, as there are 
now several brick buildings in a course of erection, large and 
good looking. Of the inhabitants of Chicago, will say, that if 
facial indications can be relied on, they are, generally, intel- 
lectual and persevering. I spent sabbath here, and preached in 
the morning in the Methodist Church, and at night in the Pres- 
byterian Church. I found a friendly people at Chicago ; espec- 
ially should the kindness of the family in which I lodge be 
noticed. Although their child was very sick, yet Mr. and Mrs. 
Berry did everything in the kindest manner to make their 
guest comfortable. There can be no doubt entertained reason- 
ably of the future growth and prosperity of this place. It must 
be the principal city of North Illinois. Here I was met by my 
good friend and esteemed brother, Rev. John Clark, who came 
with a carriage to convey me to Rock River conference. This 
was situated about eighty or ninety miles west of Chicago, 
over vast tracts of prairie lands, where, frequently as far as 
the eye could discern, not a tree or even a shrub could be seen. 
In some places the surface was perfectly level, in others consid- 
erably undulating. Groves of timber, "few and far between,'' 
might occasionally be seen skirting the horizon. The entire 
country is covered with grass from six to ten inches high, in- 
terspersed with a great variety of flowers, of almost every hue. 
The prospect at first produces a fine effect, but the monotony 
of the scene soon becomes tiresome, and you find yourself pro- 
posing these questions: Where are the people to get wood to 
warm them? Where are they to find good water in sufficient 
quantity for the necessary uses of domestic life ? The scarce- 
ness of wood and water, in my view, detracts much from the 
glory of this portion of the country. The improvements here 
are very inferior; generally they are of the rudest character. 
But what else could be expected ? It is a new country. Most of 
the lands in this part of the state are not even surveyed yet. 
Though occupied, they still belong to the United States. Let 
another generation pass away, and then let the pen of the 
tourist do justice to this country, and it will be reported a good- 
ly land, teeming with comfortably accommodated and indepen- 
dent population. The Rock River conference was set off from 
the Illinois conference by the late General Conference. It em- 
braces the northern portion of the state, together with the 
Iowa and Wisconsin Territories. It met in a grove, near Mount 
Morris, the site of a literary institution under the care of the 
conference. It was called "Mount Morriss" as a token of res- 


pect for one of my colleagues. It stands on a grand elevated 
portion of prairie region, whence the country may be seen for 
many miles in a circuit. A large stone edifice, three stories 
high, has been nearly completed, in which it is hoped the 
school will commence some time the ensuing autumn. It is in 
contemplation, as I learned from a gentlemen who takes a 
deep interest in it, to lay out a town in this place, and endow 
the institution, to some extent, by the sale of lots. But to return 
to the conference. It was held in connection with a camp 
meeting. Three or four hundred yards from the encampment 
there had been erected what is called, in this country, a log 
cabin, but I should rather call it a log pen. It was somewhat in 
form of a shed, with a large opening in the south end of it, 
which was designed for an entrance. The lowest side of the 
pen was seven logs high ; the highest perhaps, two logs more. 
Some of the larger openings were filled with smaller timbers, 
but more of them were left open for light and air. It was cov- 
ered with pieces of an old roof spread over the top. It was car- 
peted with straw. As it was not air tight, so it was not water 
proof. Here we commenced our conference business. Here we 
progressed with great peace, simplicity, and harmony, in ask- 
ing and answering the several questions which embrace confer- 
ence business, until, having brought our conference to a close 
in one week, we repaired to the camp ground, and announced 
the appointments for the ensuing year. The preachers, in the 
spirit of itinerants, repaired without a murmur to their several 
fields of labor. The camp meeting was good and successful ; and 
although the tents, beds, etc., were wet half the time, yet I 
doubt if the New York conference, though so much better ac- 
commodated at Allen street, was better pleased than was the 
Rock River conference in the "log pen'". 

Yours truly, 

B. Waugh." 

The minutes of this first session may well appear here in 
our narrative and tell the story of that historic event: 

The Illinois Conference had embraced all the territory in 
Illinois and all the territory west in Iowa and north in Wiscon- 
sin as far as the white men had gone. The General Conference 
of 1840 constituted Rock River Conference with a southern 
boundary on a line from the mouth of Rock River east to the 
Illinois River, south of Ottawa and along the Illinois and Kan- 
kakee rivers east to the Indiana line, including all work in Iowa 
and Wisconsin. Iowa was set part from Rock River Conference 
in 1844. Rock River was compensated by the addition from the 
Illinois conference of that portion which in 1856 was separated 
from Rock River and formed into the Central Illinois Confer- 


Since this story deals with Methodism in Northern Illinois, 
we note that the new conference had three districts in Illinois, 
with twenty six changes and thirty preachers. There were two 
districts in Iowa, two in Wisconsin and on Indian Mission dis- 
trict, these districts including thirty-five charges and thirty 
preachers, not including the seven men, whites and Indians 
assigned to the Indian Mission. 

One of the most notable actions of this first session was 
the adoption of Rock River Seminary at Mount Morris, the 
first institution of higher learning in all Northern Illinois and 
the Northwest. The story of this institution may be found in 
another section of this volume. 

The decade, 1840-1850, was a period of occupying the 
territory not yet organized, strengthening the old circuits, set- 
ting apart growing churches as stations, building church 
houses, increasing membership and establishing new forms of 

Between 1840-1845 new circuits included : Lake, Wheeling, 
Naperville, Lockport, Portland, Stevenson, Belvidere, Sugar 
River, Peru, Mt. Morris, Union Grove, Lighthouse, Dundee, 
St. Charles, McHenry, Beebe's Grove and one new church in 
Chicago, Canal Street. The reports at the 1845 session showed 
7400 members, thirty charges and thirty nine preachers. 

New circuits for the period 1845-50 were: Crystal Lake, 
City Mission (why this name is not known as the circuit was 
in the country fourteen miles northwest of Chicago), Little 
Rock, Mt. Carroll, Old Town (Galena), Oregon, Waukegon, 
Lee Center, Millville, Plainfield (including the village of Plain- 
field where the church vies with Galena for first place among 
churches in the Conference), Chemung, Wapello, Paw Paw and 
a third church in Chicago, Indiana Avenue. The 1845-50 per- 
iod closed with 8270 members and 47 charges in Northern 
Illinois, and 28,000 members in the entire conference. This 
period brought dissention and grief to the conference in three 
forms : The Wesleyan Movement, The Mitchell Case and Slav- 
ery. The Wesleyan dissent was a part of a nation wide revolt. 
Three pastors joined this movement; Robert Delap, William 
Kimball and Ruf us Lummery, all of whom appeared in the 1840 
conference organization. The movement did not attain large 
proportions but caused considerable friction in several 
churches. This group organized a seminary at Wheaton which 
later passed into the hands of the Congregational Church. 

Likewise, the slavery dissention was part of a nation wide 
agitation. It was precipitated by a memorial which originated 
in the First Church, Chicago in 1841. The matter was refer- 
red to a conference committee which affirmed that 


slavery was an evil, detrimental to the church but de- 
clared, "It is inexpedient for this conference to take action up- 
on the subject of slavery". This subject continued to receive 
attention, and was the subject of bitter debate and feelings, 
but it was not until 1854 that the conference took decisive 
action and memorialized the General Conference to forbid "the 
buying, selling or holding in bondage human beings for mer- 
cenary purposes." The subject of slavery pursued in Rock 
River Conference about the same course as in the general 

The Mitchell case was largely centered in First Church, 
Chicago. William Mitchell, a Virginian, was presiding elder 
of the Chicago district in 1845. The case against him was a 
mixture of his position on slavery and on the subject of "holi- 
ness". He seriously wounded the feelings of some of the lead- 
ing men in First Church by advocating "free seats, free grace 
and free gospel" and charging that First Church was more 
congregational than Methodist. Charges were brought against 
him including that of prevarication. The case occupied many 
days of two sessions of the conference. The extent and the 
details of the case are written in the minutes to the extent of 
"fifty-eight ledger pages of the Journal". The dissention of 
First Church spread into the Canal street and Indiana Avenue 
churches and some nearby country churches. It proved one 
of the most disastrous dissentions in Chicago Methodism. It 
was settled by Mitchell's transfer. He went to St. Louis and 
joined the Methodist Church South and later became involved 
there in the same charges, falsehood and slavery. In 1860 he 
was expelled from the Methodist church, South, for selling 
mortgaged slaves without acknowledgement of the encum- 

1850-1860 — Many important things occupy this period. 
Earlier in this story we referred to the considerable amount of 
missionary money expended in Rock River Conference among 
the German immigrants. This was a very fruitful investment. 
The original two German districts, one in Iowa and one in Wis- 
consin, were attached to the Illinois Conference until 1852. 
The General Conference of that year transferred them to Rock 
River. This transfer brought twenty German preachers with 
two presiding elders to this conference. In 1852 there were 
three hundred German members within our present bounds. 
The Germans remained in happy relations with us until 1864 
when the General Conference ordered three German Con- 
ference, the Northwestern German Conference including the 
Germans within our bounds. (In another section a larger re- 
port is made of the German work). 


Swedish Mission work began and continued in the Central 
Illinois Conference until 1853 when a mission was organized 
in Chicago, following exploratory work by the Reverend 0. G. 
Hedstrom, a valiant pioneer Swedish preacher. The Reverend 
S. B. Newman was put in charge of this society of forty mem- 
bers. At the conference of 1853 one hundred and twenty-three 
members were reported (a more extended report of this work 
appears elsewhere in this volume). 

This period was characterized by a rapid development of 
railroads in Northern Illinois beginning with the Chicago and 
Galena Railroad (afterward the Northwestern) extended by 
degrees from Chicago, the lake port to Galena, the lead mining 
district. The Illinois Central came next, extending south on 
a direct line to Danville and later farther south. This com- 
pany built little red stations every eleven miles down the 
eastern prairie. For a time these stations served chiefly as a 
home for the station agents and their families. There was 
little passenger and freight service because the country was 
sparsely settled. The promoters were men of vision and said, 
"Wait, the people will come and towns will spring up around 
these stations". The people came and the towns sprang up 
evenly distanced from each other. Then followed the Rock 
Island, The Milwaukee, connecting Chicago with Milwaukee. 
The Wabash, The Burlington and the Alton followed soon. In 
1840 there were 40 miles of railroad in northern Illinois. By 
1856 Chicago was the largest railroad center in the United 
States and has had that distinction ever since. 

The railroads had much to do with the development of 
Methodism in this conference. They brought a rapid increase 
of population and towns sprang up along their lines and flour- 
ished in population and in wealth. This period saw the de- 
velopment of large and substantial churches, many of which 
are now the commanding churches of the conference. The 
conference of 1860 was held in The First Methodist Church in 
Chicago, Bishop James presiding. The reports for that year 
indicate, within our present bounds, 17,285 full members, 2693 
probationers, 147 church buildings valued at $594,500.00, 73 
parsonages valued at $60,450.00, for missions, $425,160.00, 
296 Sunday Schools with 18,558 pupils and 3,399 officers and 
teachers. If these figures be compared with those of 1850, 
8270 members, 47 churches and 59 preachers, it will be seen 
that this was a very fruitful period. It may be of interest to 
add here that only 7 of the preachers appointed in 1840 re- 
mained at this 1860 conference. 

As the reports for 1860 indicate, the period of 1850 to 1860 
was one of rapid growth in members. It was a period of wide- 


spread revivals which culminated in 1858. A. D. Fields says, 
"In Rock River Conference almost every charge shared the 
nationwide interest in revivals". He lists the following evi- 
dence of meetings and results : Cedarville, 65 conversions ; De- 
Kalb, 80; Westfield Corners (Winnebago Circuit), 100; Kan- 
kakee, 75 ; Mount Morris, 200, including 80 students ; Kingston 
150; Elgin, 60; Sandwich, 70; Barrington, 60; Stillman, 70 
Savannah, 125; Oregon, 40; Warren, 75; Buffalo Grove, 58 
Marengo, 250 ; Waukegan, 75 ; and other numbers not given. 

The most important achievement of this period was the 
organization of educational institutions. From 1840 to 1850 
the Rock River Seminary at Mount Morris was the solitary 
beacon of higher learning within the conference. From 1850 
educational work went forward with amazing speed. We will 
only list the institutions here and leave the reader to get the 
larger story of them under their respective heads in another 
part of this volume. Heading the list is Northwestern Uni- 
versity, where initial efforts began in 1850; the legislature 
granted a charter in 1851. In 1853 the site for the new school 
was decided after considerable investigation. At one time the 
trustees were ready to choose a site near the Des Plaines. 
Largely through the efforts of Orrington Lunt the location 
finally chosen was what is now Evanston, then only open farm 
land and unimproved property. Garrett Biblical Institute in 
1854, opening its first term in January 1855, with John Demp- 
ster, President. Northwestern Female College (at Evanston) 
in 1854. Clark Seminary (now Jennings) in 1856. Rockford 
Wesleyan Seminary at Rockford in 1857 and Fowler Institute. 

A further indication of the interest in education and 
knowledge during this period in Rock River Conference was 
the launching of the North Western Christian Advocate with 
Dr. J. V. Watson its first editor, in January, 1853, thus fol- 
lowing a tradition of American Methodism which began print- 
ing pamphlets within five years after the church was intro- 
duced into the colonies. It is recorded that Robert Williams 
printed and circulated pamphlets containing sermons and ex- 
tracts of the writings of John Wesley, thus anticipating the 
Methodist Book Concern. In 1787 provision was made by the 
same conference for the printing of books to be done in New 
York City. Two years later, 1789, John Dickins was elected 
"Book Steward" and began the Methodist Book Concern with 
a capital of $600.00. In the same year the Northwestern 
Christian Advocate was launched. The Methodist Book De- 
pository was established in Chicago. The story of our long 
publishing interests may be found elsewhere in this volume. 

Perhaps no man of this period equalled in initiative John 
H. Vincent who, in ] 857, transferred into Rock River and was 


stationed at Ottawa Street, Joliet. Here he made an experi- 
ment with what he called the Palestine Class, which seemed 
to have included people from other churches in Joliet. This 
idea was afterwards utilized by him in Mount Morris, Galena, 
and Rockford. He also organized in Joliet a normal class for 
the training of Sunday School teachers. This idea likewise 
was carried into subsequent charges. While at Galena he or- 
ganized his Sunday School Institute. This idea spread into 
the conference. We find the conference of 1860 introducing 
the institute idea and calling for its extension. While at 
Trinity Church, Vincent introduced topical lessons similar to 
the Berean leaves which were printed weekly in the North- 
western Christian Advocate. In 1865 he issued a teacher's 
quarterly which was changed to a monthly teachers journal 
the following year and became the first of its kind known. 
J. H. Vincent was one of the foremost leaders in a Sunday 
School Reform Movement which swept across the church from 
1858 to 1865, to which movement three things are credited: 
First, a new style of singing ; second, a series of lesson leaves ; 
third, the introduction of laymen to Sunday School work. 

As previously indicated this was a decade of revivals. One 
new feature of this movement was that of street preaching 
which was introduced by William Taylor (afterwards Bishop) 
at the conference held in Galena in 1858. Robert L. Collier and 
Thomas Eddy took turns with Taylor in preaching on the 
street. The movement was taken up in Chicago and has been 
carried forward through all the intervening years, notably by 
the Night Mission. 

1860-1870 — The most notable national event of this per- 
iod of course was the Civil War. It had a serious effect upon 
Rock River Conference. The state of Illinois with a popula- 
tion of less than two million sent 260,000 men into the various 
branches of military service. I think one may truthfully say 
that the northern end of the state gave a larger percentage 
than any other part of the state because of the preponderance 
of eastern people in the northern section. Scarcely a home with- 
in the bounds of this conference escaped some direct experi- 
ence of the war. One may focus more visibly the devastating 
effect of the Civil War in the lives of our people if he should 
go into most any court house in northern Illinois and read the 
long list of names of the memorial tablets. Such tablets in 
the court house of Du Page County at Wheaton, Illinois lists : 
1452 Civil War soldiers out of a population of 147,000, about 10 
per cent of the total population. 

Likewise loyal support was given to the Sanitary Com- 
mission which was the Red Cross of that period. 

The minutes of this period reveal the deep concern of 


the conference in regard to the war. The report of the com- 
mittee on the state of the union for 1861 was a powerful docu- 
ment in which it is said, "As Christians, as Christian ministers, 
we can only say this rebellion must be subdued, the constitu- 
tion must be maintained, the laws must be enforced, the union 
must and shall be preserved." Among the resolutions in this 
report is this, "Resolved that it is the duty of all to stand by 
our government in this hour of its trial and that we pledge it 
our active sympathies and cooperation". The reports of this 
committee continue throughout the war to express a brave 
determination to save the republic and deep concern for all who 
suffer on account of the war. 

Towards the end of the war interest was manifested in 
and expressed for the care of the colored men who were set 
free and people were exhorted to cooperate in the securing of 
funds for that purpose. Likewise loyal support was given to the 
Sanitary Commission which was the Red Cross of that period. 
It is interesting to note the reports of membership and 
Sunday School enrollment during tihs period. The decade 
shows an increase of 109 church buildings, 3940 members, and 
church property to the amount of $1,220,820.00 and an increase 
of 41 Sunday Schools and 27,251 pupils and an increase in mis- 
sionary gifts of $9433.00 The period of 1860-1864 shows an 
increase of 43 churches, 894 members, and $3645.00 in church 

One of the most interesting developments of this period 
was the agitation and final provision for lay representation in 
the Annual and General Conference. The first appearnce of 
this issue in Rock River Conference was in 1859. A special 
committee reporting said, "This agitation for lay representa- 
tion does not arise so much from restlessness on the part of 
the laity as a felt want of the ministry for lay council and co- 
operation. We are willing to accept any plan which shall pro- 
vide for liberal infusion of the lay element in the Annual or 
General Conference". 

The conference of 1861 ordered a vote through the 
churches on the subject. The vote is reported in 1863 as fol- 
lows : For, 733 ; against, 1256, thus showing a lack of interest 
on the part of the churches. This same, year the conference 
adopted a report recommending that the General Conference 
take favorable action. 

In 1864 the conference, on nomination of the presiding 
elders, elected lay delegates to sit in the conference. Those 
elected were as follows, by district: Chicago: G. C. Cooke, 
Prof. H. S. Noyes; Rockford: Hon. Wm. Brown, D. B. James; 
Galena: T. Wilcoxon, A. M. Sackett; Mt. Carmel: B. Halleck, 
H. S. Morgan; Mt. Morris; F. G. Petrie, E. C. Dougherty; 


Mendota: S. McCarthy, Wm. L. S. Jones; Joliet: R. Randall, J. 
Date. The following year, 10 of these delegates are recorded 
as present. Others were appointed to fill vacancies and all 
assigned to conference committees. 

In 1866 The General Conference was again memorialized 
to include lay representation. In 1868 a vote was ordered on 
a plan submitted by the General Conference. The vote was 
109 for, 23 against. The first lay delegation elected in 1872 
by Rock River was Grant Goodrich and B. F. Sheets. 

This was a period of extension of interest and setting up 
of new organizations to meet new demands. Among the or- 
ganizations coming into existence in the conference in this 
period were: The Freedman's Aid Society, The Sunday School 
Union, The Seaman's Council, The Women's Foreign Mission- 
ary Society, The Preacher's Aid Society, the Tract Society 
and the Church Extension Society. 

The issue of peace and war appears in the 1869 session 
when a report of the American Peace Society was approved. 
This society proposed the "interception and prevention of war 
by negotiation, arbitration, and by a congress of voters and 
the establishment and perpetuity of good will among all men." 
The report of the conference of 1870 says: 

"The American Peace Society proposes to do away with 
the custom of international war. It aims solely at such an ap- 
plication of trie Gospel to the intercourse of nations as shall 
put an end to the practice of settling their disputes by the 
sword. The Gospel has accomplished this already with refer- 
ence to personal disputes, so that the ordeal of single combat 
is held as cruel, unwise, and unchristian. It is the custom of 
the world after the war is over to arrange the terms of peace 
by negotiation. This Society proposes to resort to negotia- 
tion, or the arbitration of friendly powers, before an appeal 
to arms. A war without men to will it and carry it on, would 
be an impossibility ; and if war depends on human choice, the 
Peace Society believes that a general diffusion of the principles 
of the Gospel will lead men everywhere to avoid the evils of 

It is cheering to know that already when war is declared 
for trivial causes the conscience of the world condemns it. 
This is a real advance in favor of both justice and humanity. 
It is also encouraging to know that aversion to war shows it- 
self in the amelioration of its cruelties. War has already lost 
half of its primitive horrors. Slavery, torture, indiscriminate 
carnage, atrocities common among the most polished nations 
of antiquity, are now unknown. 

"It is not our duty to propose the modes by which war is 
to be averted. Negotiation, arbitration, mediation, non-inter- 


course, judicial appeal, are among the modes of individual ad- 
justment of disputes. A Congress of Nations constituted 
would place within the reach of nations all these modes of 
rectification of wrong. 

"The present war in Europe, which absorbs the time and 
labor of 5,000,000 of men, filling Europe with alarm, and caus- 
ing incalculable loss of life and treasure, furnishes an occasion 
for all good men to unite in praying for the time when nations 
shall not learn war any more, and for all ministers to preach 
with increasing zeal that Gospel which, when received, will 
make war unnecessary and impossible. 

"In view of these considerations, we offer the following 
resolutions for adoption: 

Resolved, That war is an evil to be deplored and to be 
tolerated only when all other legitimate means for national 
defense have failed. 

Resolved, That armed peace is a contradiction of terms; 
that the system of maintaining extensive armaments and vast 
armies is not only demoralizing but furnishes the most danger- 
ous incentives to war. 

Resolved, That we rejoice in the timely action of our Chief 
Executive who, by his proclamations of neutrality, refused to 
be drawn into the fearful conflict now waged in Europe. 

Resolved, That, recognizing the aim of the Gospel to be 
the promotion of righteousness and peace throughout the 
earth, we will endeavor so to apply its principles as to produce 
a public sentiment in favor of adjusting national differences 
by other and better methods than the brutal arbitrament of 
the sword. 

Resolved, That we have in the American Peace Society a 
valuable auxiliary toward securing this important object, and 
that we will cooperate with its representatives whenever prac- 

Respectfully submitted, 

S. A. W. Jewett, Chairman." 

A project for the erection of a Metropolitan Methodist 
Church in the national capital was presented in 1866 and 
$1,000.00 pledged for a Rock River Conference memorial win- 
dow. The following year the conference endorsed the project, 
again including provision for "a memorial window and pew 
for the State of Illinois". In 1868 the committee reported the 
project nearing completion at a cost of $250,000.00 and regrets 
that only $164.00, of $1,000.00 pledged by Rock River, had 
been paid and recommended a committee to complete the col- 
lection. The committee was John Dempster, Peter R. Borein 
and John Sinclair. In 1869 the conference ordered the names 


of contributing churches printed in the Northwestern Chris- 
tian Advocate and requested pastors of non-contributing 
churches to present the matter. 

In 1869 the Conference approved "The Ladies College of 
Evanston". The first President was Miss Frances Willard. 
This school, in 1871 absorbed The Northwestern Female Col- 
lege of Evanston, and The Ladies College was incorporated 
into Northwestern University, with Miss Willard as Dean of 
Women and Professor of Aesthetics. 

1870-1880 — The over-shadowing event in Rock River Con- 
ference during this decade was The Chicago Fire, which broke 
out in October 1871, and raged two days and nights, burning 
over 2100 acres, destroying 17,450 buildings, causing 200 
deaths, rendering 70,000 people homeless and destroying al- 
most two hundred million dollars worth of property. The 
Methodists of Chicago shared their proportion of the losses. 
The loss of Methodist property was considerable. Garrett Bib- 
lical Institute suffered heavily in its downtown properties, an 
income of $21,000.00 per year being wiped out. The First 
Methodist Church was destroyed, wiping out a $31,000.00 
income, crippling the activities of the church itself 
and its aid to other churches. Grace Church's $80,000.00 prop- 
erty was destroyed. German churches suffered a $10,000.00 
loss and one Scandinavian Church valued at $5,000.00 was de- 
stroyed. The new Ladies College at Evanston suffered a heavy 
shrinkage of its $50,000.00 subscription for a new building. 
The Northwestern Christian Advocate plant and the Metho- 
dist Book Depository were lost. The reports do not indicate 
Northwestern University losses. 

A conference committee on relief was promptly formed 
and an appeal made for funds to help restore our losses. At the 
conference of 1873 Orrington Lunt, Treasurer of the Chicago 
Relief Fund, reported a total collection of $180,000.00 including 
$150,000.00 in the general fund, $16,000.00 by the German 
Methodists $2,000.00 by the Swedes, $5,000.00 from the church 
Extension Society and $8,000.00 collected by "Brother A. 

The loss to our church properties was not comparable to 
the personal losses of Methodist people. Many people of ours, 
including some of our most substantial business men, lost every 
thing they owned, including businesses, homes and personal 
effects. This was a staggering blow to Chicago Methodists but 
they, in the same heroic spirit of all Chicago, arose to meet the 
occasion and rebuild. 

The conference of 1872 heard a report of the work being 
done elsewhere by "The Ladies' and Pastors' Christian Union" 
and recommended that such societies be organized in the 


charges of Rock River Conference. The following resolution in- 
dicates something of the nature of this society: "The General 
Conference has set forth the wisdom of using all our material 
for Christ, and the peculiar fitness in associating our women 
and ministry in the pastoral work, etc". 

In 1873 the Conference recommended that the Reverend 
Charles H. Fowler, Pastor of the Centenary Methodist Church, 
be appointed President of Northwestern University. The roll 
of ministers for that year indicates that he was so appointed. 

The conference acknowledges a visit from another future 
bishop, a member of Rock River, Dr. J. H. Vincent, corres- 
ponding secretary of the Sunday School Union. The minutes 
of 1865 indicates that he was agent of the union and located 
in Chicago. Later minutes give his address as New York City. 

The conference of 1875 provides an interesting item in 
regard to a proposal to create an "insurance Bureau" in the 
Church Extension Society. A resolution on this subject says: 
"In view of the fact that the insurance of church property is 
a department of secular business quite outside of the appro- 
priate work of the church, and as such work should have a 
tendency to secularization and more or less interfere with the 
work of the ministry and, for other important reasons that 
need not be mentioned here, we do not favor the plan proposed" 
and "recommend that we do not concur." This resolution was 
signed by Luke Hitchock, S. P. Keyes and J. W. Agard. 

A resolution appears in 1876 acknowledging the appoint- 
ment of a Bishop to Chicago and ordered the appointment of 
a committee to receive "Propositions from the church in any 
town or city within 50 miles of Chicago, offering a suitable 
home for the Episcopal residence". The following year Judge 
E. H. Gary appeared before the conference with a proposition 
from the Wheaton church, "to build and maintain a suitable 
residence for the Bishop so long as it might be his pleasure". 
A committee was ordered, with power to act, after consulting 
the Bishop and the church at Wheaton. The committee was 
Luke Hitchcock, A. Gurney and Wm. Deering, Esq. The author 
is unable to find any further reference to this matter. 

At the session for 1876 a committee, composed of W. C. 
Dandy, 0. H. Tiffany and F. P. Cleveland, recommended the 
adoption by the conference of the "Moss System of Church 
Finance". The system provided for adoption by official boards 
of the treasurer's estimate of amount needed by the church 
for the year, reading of estimate to the congregation, the tak- 
ing of pledges, to be paid weekly or monthly, "even if not more 
than one cent per week", the treasurer to keep an account 
with each member and probationer and to render to each a 
quarterly statement, "whether they give or not", that scrip- 


tural education texts be printed on each statement, "teaching 
the people the "thus sayeth the Lord," that a quarterly state- 
ment of receipts and expenditures be read to the congrega- 
tion, "to be followed at once by subscriptions to make up any 
deficiencies," and that the treasurer should keep " a most ac- 
curate account" in a book prepared and offered for sale by 
Brother Moss. 

At this same conference the will of Eliza A. Whiteside 
of Malta, DeKalb County, was reported bequeathing $1000.00 
to Rock River Conference. Luke Hitchcock was appointed 
treasurer of the fund. The will provided this amount, in trust, 
the income from which should be divided, one fourth for mis- 
sionary purposes, one fourth for the conference Bible Society, 
one fourth for the widows and orphans of ministers of Rock 
River Conference and "one fourth for the support of preaching 
in the district now known as the Union District No. 6, Smith 
Grove and Lynnville." 

At the 1878 session charges were preferred against Dr. H. 
W. Thomas, pastor of Centenary Church, Chicago, involving 
charges of heresy. This was the beginning of the most famous 
heresy trial in the history of the conference. The original 
charges were held in abeyance. But the agitations against 
Dr. Thomas continued. In 1880 a paper was presented calling 
on him to withdraw from the Methodist ministry and pledging 
the conference to "commend him to God, to the word of His 
grace and to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who leads into all 
truth." An attempt was made and failed to substitute a mo- 
tion calling for a special committee to try him. The original 
question was called. Dr. Thomas addressed the conference and 
the original motion was presented and sustained by a vote of 
110 to 65. 

Dr. Thomas followed this vote to withdraw with a refusal 
to do so, supported by a long defense of his doctrines and a plea 
for the historic liberty of thought which had characterized 

The conference appointed a committee to receive the 
paper and make proper reply to the conference. The committee 
disagreed with Dr. Thomas' assurance of harmony with Meth- 
odist doctrine and, in view of the near close of the conference, 
recommended that his case be turned over to his presiding 

On the request of Dr. Thomas, S. A. W. Jewett and R. M. 
Hatfield were appointed to formulate charges against him. 
Chas. H. Fowler was chairman of the special trial committee. 
The committee reported to the conference of 1881 that it could 
not proceed because the defendent had not completed his right 
to challenge. Thomas challenged four members of the com- 


mittee, who were excused, and four others appointed. Mean- 
while Thomas preferred charges against M. M. Parkhurst and 
a trial committee was appointed. 

The committee on Thomas expelled him from the ministry 
and membership of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The com- 
mittee on Parkhurst cleared him of the charges. Thomas ap- 
pealed his case and Parkhurst was appointed one of three 
members to act as counsel for the conference before the 
Judicial conference. 

During this period the cause of Mormon polygamy re- 
ceived a great deal of attention. 

This decade was one of the shoddiest in the history of the 
United States. Politics, business and literature reached an all 
time record of corruption, scandal and mediocrity. Henry 
Adams in his "Education", says : "Grant's administration out- 
raged every rule of ordinary decency, but scores of promising 
men whom the country could not well spare were ruined for 
saying so. The world cared little for decency". Referring to a 
certain business and political scandal, he says, "The worst 
scandal of the eighteenth century were relatively harmless by 
the side of this." 

There were bitter labor strikes and the bloody use of 
militia. A business depression swept away the fortune and the 
livelihood of many people, yet in such a decade of public dis- 
aster and scandal, there isn't a single reference to it in the 
conference minutes or reports. The conference had time for 
voluminous reports on Mormon polygamy and endless debates 
about theological heresy. 

The decade showed a gain of 34 church buildings, 4720 
members, 2205 Sunday School scholars, $94,808.00 in church 
building property and a loss of 14 Sunday Schools and $1299.00 
for missions. (The 1880-1890 population of the State of Illinois 
for the State of Illinois for the decade registers a gain of 20 r c.) 
Missionary offerings for 1880 were $1299.00 behind those of 

In national affairs this was a quiescent period, for the 
most part, nothing new, nothing startling, nothing scandalous. 
It was, however, a period of increased vitality and growth in 
the conference. In 1881 a conference Woman's Home Mission- 
ary Society was organized with the following officers: Presi- 
dent, Mrs. Luke Hitchcock; Vice Presidents, Mrs. J. V. Kent, 
Mrs. Judge Brown, Mrs. F. A. Jaynes, Mrs. H. P. Hall, Mrs. 
Caroline Sill, Mrs. A. H. McClay ; Secretary, Mrs. W. H. Burus; 
Treasurer, Mrs. T. Pliny Marsh. 

October 20, 1884, The Chicago Training School was opened 
at 19 Park Avenue, Chicago, with the following organization: 


President, M. M. Parkhurst ; Secretary, T. P. Marsh ; Treasurer, 
Mrs. W. E. Blackstone; corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Lucy 
Meyers. Board of directors : Mrs. Dr. I. N. Danf orth, Mrs. Dr. 
Jos. Cummings, Mrs. F. P. Crandon, Mrs. L. A. Hogans, Mrs. 
E. E. Marcy, Mrs. J. B. Hobbs, the Reverend W. A. Patten, 
W. E. Blackstone and Geo D. Elderkin. 

The Superannuated Relief Association was born in the 
year 1885. The first Board of Managers was: Wm. Deering, 
Oliver H. Horton, I. F. Kleekner, J. E. Wilson, Wm. Brown, J. 
B. Hobbs, E. H. Gray, C. E. Simmons, R. D. Shepherd, R. M. 
Hatfield, Wm. A. Smith and W. H. Tebbles. The Reverend E. 
M. Boring was appointed corresponding secretary. 

In 1882 an appeal was made for the Mission Steam Yacht 
to serve Central China, and $939.00 was raised for that pur- 

The Metropolitan church of Washington, D. C. was repre- 
sented before the conference by Chaplain McCabe, afterward 
Bishop, in 1883 and $300.00 raised to apply on the church's 

The conference went on record in an appeal to the 
State Legislature to submit to the people for a vote the ques- 
tion of "constitutional prohibition." 

A resolution was passed in 1888 protesting the filling of 
the pulpits of the larger churches with transfers, except upon 
request of two thirds of the presiding elders or a majority 
vote of the conference. 

The Young People's Methodist Alliance was endorsed in 
1888 and the new Epworth League was endorsed in 1889. 
In 1890 a conference organization of the Epworth League was 
perfected with Professor H. V. Holt, President ; O. H. Cessna, 
Vice President ; C. N. Gary, Secretary ; John R. Lindgren, Trea- 
surer. The Board of Managers was as follows: Henry Date, 
A. W. Patten, Frank Hanawalt, F. H. Gardener, Henry Lea and 
O. W. Mattison. Chas. M. Stuart was appointed "Representa- 

An event of great significance occurred during the year 
1887 and received only scant notice in the conference minutes. 
I refer to the establishment in Chicago of the first Methodist 
Deaconness Home on this continent. The reference is in a re- 
port of the Chicago Training School, as follows: "Resolved, 
that the locating of the first Deaconess Home on this continent 
within the bounds of Rock River Conference is to us a source of 
great satisfaction." No further details are given. See history 
of the Deaconess home in this volume. 

The decade shows a very healthy advance in all statistics. 
Increases for the decade: Churches, 49; membership, 11,083; 


probationers, 1120; Sunday Schools, 49; Sunday School scho- 
lars, 15,558; Church property, $1,208,342.00; and missions, 

The national scene was crowded during this decade. James 
Truslow Adams sets the date 1890 as the closing of the Ameri- 
can frontier, the long and useful safety valve for economic dis- 
content. If things went hard in the east we could pick up our 
effects and flee to the new cheap lands of the west. But the 
west was closed about 1890 and Americans had to begin facing 
their economic problems. 

Economic and social problems now began to be clamour- 
ous. Labor was cheapened by importation of hordes of foreig- 
ners. Slums developed in the cities and industrial towns. Social 
conflict developed where strange groups infringed upon each 
other. Droughths and high tariff and cheap money accentuated 
the western farmer's distress. Strikes arose in violence. Troops 
were called out to repel the strikers. The western farmers and 
the working people were torn with discontent. William Jen- 
nings Bryan came upon the scene and offered the leadership 
needed by the discontented. Under his leadership the people 
rose. The McKinley "gold standard" forces spent 7 million dol- 
lars on the presidential campaign and the Bryan "free silver" 
forces spent three hundred thousand dollars. McKinley re- 
ceived 7,000,000 votes and Bryan 6,500,000. This campaign 
shook the country and was prophetic of a new social and econ- 
omic revolution which is still in progress (1941). 

Rock River Conference was not insulated from this great 
economic and social struggle. Few, if any, utterances of the 
conference were as significant as that "on the State of the 
Country", adopted in 1894, sponsored by N. H. Axtell, J. P. 
Brushingham, Horace W. Bolton, Isiah Villers and Wm. B. 
Leach. Its significance warrants free quotation from it: 
"Our land is happily free from war. Our foes are 
they of our own conglomerate household. Our dang- 
ers arise from the conflict of classes. Each strives 
for its own privileges and even its prejudices. Hence 
unless regulated by law requiring concessions, for- 
bearance, even self-sacrifice, these contending inter- 
ests must clash with each other and ruin come in- 
stead of liberty. Liberty, so called, acting with out law 
is the one cause of our evils and dangers. In the north 
it has been manifested in anarchistic mobs, culminat- 
ing in the loss of millions of money, and arresting 
the prosperity of the country. 

Two sources of these troubles are apparent: The 
ungovernm<en|t of cities, and privations of labor. 
Labor has been pushed from its former fields by 


machinery, steel and steam, electricity and inven- 
tions that can do everything but think. Capital com- 
bines to do by machinery and monopoly at lowest 
price, all the work, and the laborers stand idle in the 
market place. Laborers come to hate richer men, and 
even the laws that give security to their property; 
and the men of boasted capital learn to treat inso- 
lently, and then dread, the men who have made them 
rich, and force them under greater oppression. In 
their turn the oppressed organize, as they have a right 
to do, have often unwise leaders and bad helpers, be- 
come themselves oppressive, hating despots, become 
despotic, and instead of acting under light and love, 
and using logic and the ballot, have thought to suc- 
ceed by taking up the torch and the tocsin of war. 

Here is a call for right-minded men, in closest sym- 
pathy with the labor classes, and preaching the Gos- 
pel of Christ which the common people hear gladly, 
and which is the only cure for mutual hate, to inter- 
pose between captialists and labor on the one hand 
and our common ruin on the other. By its sym- 
pathetic philanthropy it can bring to all a better phil- 
osophy. Labor and capital can each schedule respec- 
tive rights, wrongs and duties, and these must be ac- 
knowledge carefully studied, and so acted upon in 
justice and mercy to each, that settlement of diffi- 
culties shall come by arbitration and the ballot rather 
by industrial warfare. 

The time has come when morality must be rele- 
gated into politics. In the south lawlessness has led 
to a horrible convict lease system and a more horrible 
lynching of negroes. Last year there were 200 lynch- 
ings, 169 of them negroes. The year before 241 
negroes were charged with murder, burglary, house 
burning or rape. In several cases the victims have 
been inclosed in a hut or tied to stakes and burned 
alive. In some cases negroes have been seized, con- 
veyed to a solitary place in the woods, and met by 
forty or fifty armed men, were riddled with bullets 
and fell dying and dead. The assassins depart to their 
homes with no fear of law before their eyes. This 
would have moved us to intense feeling and action had 
it occurred in some distant cannibal island ; it should 
not less stir Christian hearts that it occurs beneath 
our American flag and among our schools and 
churches, and almost daily. 

Moreover, our population has grown, very largely 


by immigration, to such an extent that our sixty- 
three millions are distributed into many distinct com- 
munities, differing in habits, languages and religions. 
In this multiplication of languages inheres one of the 
greatest promoters of prejudice and disintegration. 

In view of these facts we propose the following re- 
solutions: Resolved 1, that as Christian teachers we 
hold that it is, more than ever, our duty to bring 
social questions into the pulpit, and to help laboring 
classes to the most intelligent apprehension and 
acquirement of their greatest benefits, secure 
friendly fellowship between capital and labor, and 
bring all men to obedience to law. And we appeal to 
the press and to all teachers in our schools, not only 
to teach the principles of our government, but to 
preach them, until the reproach that Christians and 
graduates are not interested in politics, be taken 

If space permitted it would be interesting to trace the 
growing social consciousness of Rock River Conference which 
came to sharp focus in Harry F. Ward, D. D. Vaughn and 
others and eventuated in the Methodist Social Creed adopted 
by the General Conference in 1908 and later by the Federal 
Council of churches. 

This was a decade of extraordinary vigor and creativeness 
in Rock River Conference. To this period belongs the beginning 
of the Epworth League. The conference organization was set 
up in 1890, one year after the general organization at Cleve- 
land, Ohio. In 1892 there were 254 Epworth League chapters 
and 129 Junior chapters, with a reported membership of 14,- 
000 and 3,500 respectively. By 1900 the membership was 
178,848 and 9348, respectively. Something of the vigor of the 
Epworth League at this period is indicated by the maintenance 
of the Epworth Hotel during the World's Columbian Exposi- 
tion and later the establishment of Epworth House. A commit- 
tee reported with approval of Epworth House as "the 
home of an institution or settlement under the general 
name of Forward Movement", an attempt to reach people who 
are in the slums and alienated from the church. The Home 
was located at 229 V-> S. Halsted street with Dr. Geo. W. Gray 
as superintendent, without remuneration. It had expenses of 
$500.00 per month and reported : 2000 visits to the sick ; people 
lodged, 21,000; fed, 4,000; 50,000 attendance at religious ser- 
vices and 1,300 conversions. It had departments as follows: 
Kindergarten, medical, sanitary, emergency, industrial, co- 
operation, clubs, physical culture, entertainments, lectures, in- 
formation, ladies auxiliary, Sunday School and evangelism. 


Epworth House was not officially connected with the annual 
conference but had its endorsement. The future of this ambi- 
tious and pioneering effort in settlement work we have not 
been able to trace. 

The Epworth League organized the first orphanage in 
Rock River Conference. This institution was located at Ravens- 
wood where it continued for several years. Meanwhile, J. B. 
Hobbs and wife had provided for the Lake Bluff orphanage, 
under deaconess care. Eventually, the Ravenswood orphanage 
was merged with the Lake Bluff orphanage. The Methodist 
Old People's Home was organized in 1897. We are advised 
that the Epworth League made the beginnings of this insti- 
tution under the leadership of Mrs. E. E. Hartwell, chairman 
of the Mercy and Help department of the Epworth League of 
Grace Methodist. The home opened on Locust street, Chicago, 
before removal to Evanston. (See history in this volume, and 
the Agard Rest Home, also see history elsewhere.) 

Many interesting items are gleaned from this decade: In 
1891 the lay vote on admission of women to the General Con- 
ference was 5865 for and 1702 against. In 1893 S. F. Denning 
preached an interesting historical sermon in celebration of his 
fifty years in the Methodist ministry. The sermon is printed 
in the minutes. The same year brought a protest against the 
federal Geary Chinese Exclusion Act. A proposal was made for 
a conference Entertainment Fund, to be provided by each 
minister paying $1.00 for each $500.00 or fraction thereof, of 
his salary, including house rent, those who paid their own 
hotel bill to be exempted. 

The year of 1895 marked the death of B. H. Cartwright 
and S. R. Beggs, the last of the Old Guard of the organizing 
conference in 1840. Resolutions were passed that year com- 
mending the Honorable Theodore Roosevelt for law enforce- 
ment in New York City. The Bishop made speeches of pre- 
sentation in those days to retiring presiding elders. There was 
a quaint custom of passing resolutions of appreciation when 
preachers transferred and on birthdays and anniversaries. 

The first biographical "register" of preachers was made 
in this year. The first minutes of the Lay Electoral Conference 
appeared in the Annual Conference minutes in 1895. These 
minutes contain a set of very interesting and historic resolu- 
tions. The laymen protested unequal representation (only two 
delegates to the conference) in the General Conference, the 
separate seating of clergy and lay delegates, and ordered their 
delegates to sit with their ministerial brethren. They peti- 
tioned for the formation of a national lay organization. Roving 
evangelists were condemned and the General Conference 
asked to provide for the annual appointment of evangelists. 


They declared for the grouping of conferences into areas and 
the appointment of bishops to such areas quadrennially. The 
election of presiding elders by the annual conference was re- 
commended. It was also recommended that one lay person from 
each presiding elder's district sit in the cabinet when appoint- 
ments were being made and that women be made eligible to 
membership in the General Conference. Their resolutions con- 
cluded with a vigorous condemnation of saloons and political 
parties refusing to take a stand against liquor. 

Your historian would venture the suggestion that this 
set of resolutions were both vigorous and prophetic. Some of 
them have been realized and others still appear at intervals 
to challenge consideration. 

This period closed with a resounding endorsement of the 
Twentieth Century Movement, which provided for : "A revival 
of lay activities, conversions on every pastoral charge, evange- 
listic missionary activity in Chicago and an awakening 
throughout Methodism which will spread to other churches in 
all parts of the world." 

Doubtless this brief review of the closing decade of the 
nineteenth century has prepared the reader to expect evidence 
of marked progress in all lines of church activity. The figures 
will not prove disappointing. They show a gain of 72 church 
buildings, 14,205 members, 59 Sunday Schools, 15,164 Sunday 
School scholars, $1,467,784 in church buildings, pastors' sal- 
aries, $52,528, parsonages, 27: value parsonages, $122,765.00; 
total Epworth League members, 17,848 ; Junior League, 9348 ; 
all gained in the ten year period. The giving to missions does 
not show as fair an increase as other lines. Increase for gen- 
eral mission for decade $476.00; for W. F. M. S., $5,725.00; 
for W. H. M. S., $732.00. A total of all regular benevolences 
for 1900 shows $68,046.00, a gain over 1891 of $917.00; other 
benevolences, $37,383.00, a gain of $2,146.00. 

The historians proclaimed the end of the American fron- 
tier in the preceding decade. Yet, that period closed with the 
Spanish-American war which opened up new frontiers. The 
end of the nineteenth century and the opening of the twen- 
tieth seemed to have begotten a conspiracy of the stars of des- 
tiny for the United States. The United States entered upon 
the world's political stage with a bang. Science burst forth 
upon the world discovering and releasing revolutionary powers 
and making way for inventions such as the automobile, the 
flying machine, the radio and the cinema, which would trans- 
form the whole social organization of American life. This per- 
iod has been called "The Age of Dinosauers", referring to the 
concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few men. 


This present period was that of "billion dollar trusts", Car- 
negie libraries, Rockefeller endowments, big bankers, stock 
manipulation, quick fortunes, ruthless political control by big 
business and prodigal living. 

Our national wealth and bigness began to cast an ominous 
shadow. Theodore Roosevelt succeeded William McKinley in 
the presidency. Roosevelt was alarmed by the country's moral 
and political deterioration. He set out to arouse the country 
and restore decency to politics and business. This period of re- 
form was limited but proved a temporary safety valve for the 
nation. The movement was held in abeyance during the Taft 

Woodrow Wilson succeeded Taft in 1912 and took up the 
work inaugurated by Theodore Roosevelt. He led the nation in 
a notable attempt to socialize and control the forces of capital 
and industry. His program included a new traiff schedule, in- 
come tax, Federal Reserve banks, Federal Trade Commission 
and the Clayton Act to control monopolies. This movement 
to strengthen the domestic life of the nation was suddenly 
halted by our entrance into the World War. 

The religious world could not escape the impact of the 
advance of science. The so-called "higher criticism" of this 
period was a by-product of the advance of science and the 
scientific mood. It was the scientific method applied to reli- 
gion, religious history, literature and doctrine. 

Repercussions of the nation-wide agitation against "higher 
criterion" appeared in the Rock River Conference. It was pro- 
posed to create a standing committee on doctrine to scrutinize 
the theology of candidates for admission to the conference. 
Repeated attacks were made upon the theological soundness 
of Garrett Biblical Institute and investigations were proposed. 
A committee warned Garrett against heresy and threatened to 
invoke charter powers vested in the conference. Practically 
all of these proposals were defeated. The conference stood 
loyally by Garrett. The agitation spilled over into the Chicago 
Methodist Preacher's Meeting. This became a happy hunting 
ground for heresy. The writer of this sketch remembers a 
memorable session of the preachers in the old First Church 
building, about 1908. President Charles J. Little had been 
through a very serious illness and hospital experience. He had 
been called back from the "borderland" and was able to attend 
the Preacher's meeting. The detractors of Garrett, unfortu- 
nately for them, chose this day for another attack. When the 
attack was well under way, men began to call for Dr. Little. 
At length he arose, slowly walked up to the front of the room, 
took off his overcoat and threw it upon the back of the front 
pew, pulled up his coat sleeves and proceeded to give his "first 


public defense of Garrett". It was more than a defense. It 
was the most scathing castigation this writer ever heard. 
When he had finished there was not a single word in reply. As 
far as this writer can learn, Garrett has not been the subject 
of public criticism in the Preacher's meeting, or Rock River 
Conference, from that day to this. 

Another reflection of the national mood is seen in the 
growing social consciousness of the members of the confer- 
ence. It is interesting to note that the conference went on 
record annually from its organization in 1840 with an utter- 
ance against the liquor traffic. For many years prior to 1900 
there were reports on Civil Liberties and reports on the State 
of the Nation. But the first regular report of the relations of 
"Capital and Labor" came in 1903, with Harry Ward, chair- 
man and E. B. Crawford, secretary of the committee. In 1905 
the name of D. D. Vaughn appears as chairman of the Com- 
mittee. The conference came to grips with The Methodist 
Book Concern on the question of "open shop". In 1907 the re- 
port urged the General Conference to set up a department of 
social relations for the church and to define the historic 
friendship of the Methodist church for the laboring man. The 
following year the conference committee name was changed 
from "Capital and Labor" to "Industrial Relations", and car- 
ries a lament that the General Conference did not establish a 
department of social relations and rejoices that it did make an 
utterance on the subject. In 1910 the committee appears un- 
der the caption of "Social Service". A larger statement of the 
development of the Social ideal of religion in Rock River Con- 
ference and men supporting it, may be found in the history 
of the "Social Service Federation" elsewhere in this volume. 

With the rise of the "social Gospel" emphasis there was a 
recession of the old time evangelistic emphasis and method. 
The former enthusiasm for mass evangelism also shunted into 
the religious educational movement which appeared and de- 
veloped rapidly in this period. The period registers a slowing 
down of membership increases, notwithstanding a population 
increase of 800,000 in the state, and an almost tragic halting 
of the momentum of the League movement. (See figures ap- 
pended to this section). 

This was a period of a new mood, new methods and new 
men. The "original" Rock River men who took over the con- 
ference in 1840 were in due time "gathered to their fathers" 
and a younger group came into their places, a group slightly 
better educated and retaining much of the evangelistic fervor 
of the "fathers". By the beginning of the new century this 
second group of leaders had taken the long trail or were rest- 
ing beside the road. While these went others came and by 


1905 new and younger leadership was apparent in the con- 
ference. In that year one notes rising young men like W. 0. 
Shepherd, afterward bishop; L. F. W. Leseman, now 
president of Chicago Training School; Harry F. Ward, secre- 
tary of the Methodist Federation of Social Service; John 
Thompson, now Pastor of Chicago Temple ; Fred D. Stone, now 
Methodist Publishing Agent; D. D. Vaughn; C. K. Carpenter; 
H. V. Holt; J. H. Odgers; J. S. Ladd Thomas; E. B. Crawford 
A. S. Haskins ; Morton C. Hartzell ; M. B. Williams and others. 

One notes now a steadily rising standard of education for 
ministers. The Board of Examiners gave much time to im- 
proving the educational status of new candidates. The stan- 
dards were raised until the conference refused to admit a 
candidate who was not a graduate from both an accredited 
college and an accredited seminary. 

This was a period of prolonged and fierce dissention in 
the conference including the trial of a morally delinquent min- 
ister, controversy about Wabash Avenue church property, and 
the long and bitter "Trinity-Marie" case. This case plagued 
the local churches, the Annual Conference, the General Con- 
ference and the state courts for several years. The case grew 
out of the question of title to the Marie property, a mission 
established by Trinity church. The case was fought through 
several sessions of the Annual Conference, went up to two or 
three General Conferences, ran the gauntlet of the circuit 
courts two or three times and up to the Supreme Court of Illi- 
nois. As far as the writer is able to judge by the records, the 
General Conference upheld the Marie contention and the 
courts upheld the case of Trinity. Court action and com- 
promise finally adjusted the matter after incalculable harm 
to Trinity, Marie and the Conference. The Trinity Church 
under consideration here was located in the locality of Indiana 
Avenue and 24th street. Under the inspiration of Bishop 
Thos. Nicholson, plans were developed for establishing here 
a great institutional church plant, a sort of church of all na- 
tions. The plan did not work out. Trinity property was later 
sold and the new Trinity, located at Winchester and Ninety- 
ninth, was founded. 

Let us gather up here a number of interesting items of 
this period: In 1901 the Laymen's Association asked for a 
joint session with the ministers. The request was approved 
and a short joint session held in 1903. At the 1901 session, a 
proposal was offered for a committee on conference programs 
and an "Honor Roll" of the ministers printed, giving biograph- 
ical information about all members of the conference. Gover- 
nor Richard Yates and Bishop C. C. McCabe were honored 
guests at this session. N. W. Harris reported at the 1903 ses- 


sion for a joint committee of laymen and preachers commend- 
ing an "institutional Church" and requesting $2,000.00 
each for Trinity and Centenary churches to make a beginning. 
The committee was composed of N. W. Harris, H. N. Higgin- 
botham, Edward Swift, F. P. Crandon, Arthur Dixon, O. H. 
Horton, Perley Lowe, Arthur Gourlay, The Reverend A. D. 
Traveller and the presiding elders. This session appointed a 
committee to consider the advisability of changing the time 
of the annual session. The Elgin Academy became a part of 
Northwestern University as a Junior College. It was accom- 
panied by a gift of $40,000.00 from Mr. and Mrs. G. P. Lord. 
In 1904 Bishop W. F. McDowell presided and was invited to 
return for the following year. F. H. Sheets received appoint- 
ment as assistant Foreign Missionary Secretary. The Illinois 
Anti-Saloon League was approved and a resolution was passed 
requesting Congress to "Disassociate the government from 
the liquor traffic." 

The session of 1906 was greatly disturbed by revelations 
of shocking public immorality in Chicago, protested too much 
crime news in the public press, commended Mayor Edward 
Dunne and Chief John M. Collins and called for an investiga- 
tion of Cook County jails and courts. A committee on Epworth 
League Institute was appointed in 1906. 

In 1907 a committee was raised to submit a plan for a 
Rock River Historical Society. The committee later reported 
and a charter was received from the State of Illinois for the 
Chicago Methodist Historical Society. Dr. Charles J. Little 
was a leading spirit in this movement. Dr. Wm. B. Norton 
acted as secretary for many years, and gathered considerable 
material of importance. The charter of this society was al- 
lowed to lapse in 1939. Fred D. Stone was appointed in 1908 
to be Endowment Secretary of the American University at 
Washington, D. C. A resolution was passed commending the 
Roosevelt administration's "Trust busting" efforts and con- 
demning ministers who condemned the administration. In 
1909, the conference upheld General Fred D. Grant for lead- 
ing a temperance and law enforcement parade of citizens in 
Chicago. Gen. Grant had been attacked by the liquor crowd. 
This conference had considerable trouble with Chicago news- 
paper reporters and created a committee on publicity. This 
conference also created a committee on Conference enter- 

In 1910 the conference passed strong resolutions on 
"Peace and Arbitration" and in 1910 commended proposed ar- 
bitration treaties between France, Great Britain, Germany 
and the United States. 

The sessions of 1912, 1913, 1914 and 1915 were absorbed 


with the Trinity-Marie dispute. At the 1915 session report 
was made on the Wm. Goodfellow Estate whereby Rock River 
Conference received a legacy of $12,090.00 and 1-3 interest in 
12 lots. 

The reports of 1900-1916 gives us the following interest- 
ing figures. Loss of churches, 11; of Sunday schools, 7; of 
Epworth League membership, 6184; of Junior league mem- 
bership, 5064. Indicated increases are: membership, 12,207; 
Sunday school pupils, 30,120; church property, $2,386,016.00; 
all disciplinary benevolences, $115,823.00. (The population in- 
creases in Illinois for 1900-1910 and 1910-1920, respectively 
were 818,700 and 846,000, hence the decline is not due to pop- 
ulation decline. These conference figures indicate a definite 
slowing down of acceleration of growth for the past 75 years 
in Rock River Conference.) 

In 1916 the country was under the shadow of the World 
War No. 1 and involved in a heated national political campaign, 
wherein Woodrow Wilson was opposed for reelection by 
Charles Evans Hughes. Wilson was reelected on the assump- 
tion that "he kept us out of war." 

In April 1917 we were in the war. And this ends a very 
significant period in the history of Rock River Conference 
and opened a new period which we will now briefly trace. 

1917-1940 — The World War No. 1 required a tremendous 
effort on the part of the United States. In a comparatively 
short time the United States put 4,800,000 men under arms, 
sent 2,000,000 men overseas, spent almost $22,000,000.00 by 
June 1, 1919, lost 200,000 men by death and had 182,000 
wounded. Such an effort called forth national unity and vast 
moral and spiritual resources. Inevitably, a period of reac- 
tion followed the war, mental, moral and spiritual reaction. 
This was greatly exaggerated by the return of four million 
soldiers to civilian life, creating a big unemployed group and 
the sore spectacle of veterans of the war and defenders of the 
country walking the streets and country roads in quest of 
work, selling trinkets or begging on street corners to eke out 
a living. Business reaction followed the war. Vast readjust- 
ments were necessary. This process of deflation was espe- 
cially hard on farmers whose land prices had boomed under the 
inflated war prices for agricultural products. After a brief 
period of deflation, the nation got its "second wind" and head- 
ed into a boom period, accompanied by wild speculation, stock 
rigging and general inflation, ending in a panic which shook 
the nation and brought on a deep and stubborn depression 
which gripped the nation for ten years, only showing signs of 
release with the defense prosperity attending preparation for 
the second World War. Farm and industrial income for 1929 


was twenty three and one half billion dollars. In 1932 it 
plunged downward to ten billion dollars. Eventually the Fed- 
eral Government became inextricably enmeshed in a program 
to "lick the depression". The entent of governmental par- 
ticipation may be partially indicated by saying that sixty fed- 
eral agencies were created to wrestle with some phase of the 
depression and recovery. The war and the depression left 
glacial marks upon our national life and the church did not 
escape its share of strain and change. 

We must limit the space for discussion of this period of 
Rock River history. Although it might well be given ex- 
tended consideration we shall have to present a broad outline 
and leave more extensive consideration to some future his- 

Naturally, the conference was war conscious in 1917 and 
1918. There were resolutions in support of the war aims of 
the United States, in support of the President, in assurances 
to our soldiers and sailors, and demands upon the federal gov- 
ernment for protection of the boys in camp from immoral in- 
roads, especially of the liquor traffic, resolutions urging food 
conservation and the purchase of liberty bonds. A few lines 
from the Public Policy report of 1917 is revealing. After re- 
minding the church that we are to "love our enemies" it pro- 
ceeds: "We have not ceased to believe in the coming of the 
Kingdom of God, . . . not ceased to believe that the meek shall 
inherit the earth, . . . confession that all nations have sinned 
and come short of the glory of God, including our own nation, 
we bow beneath his righteous judgments. In that faith we 
denounce and resist a militarism which hesitates not to adopt 
any expedient or perpetrate any atrocity, however ruthless 

or fiendish, to impose its will upon the world in giving 

our sons to the service of our country ... we seek not ven- 
geance, not territorial expansion, not material aggrandize- 
ment or the glory of conquest, but a new earth, forever safe 
from the secret machinations and the murderous hand of an 
unscrupulous power, which exploits its abominations under 
the blasphemous assumption that it is the chosen instrument 
and special favorite of God." In 1918 the report declares: "We 
urge prosecution of war until the spirit of Hunism is broken 
and Germany brought to repentance." "Nothing less than 
the unconditional surrender of Germany can be a condition 
for a peace conference". The conference approved President 
Wilson's insistence upon a League of Nations saying, "No 
doubt the new world order will make 'government of the peo- 
ple, for the people and by the people' a principle of nations". 
At one session of the conference the bishop read a list of 34 
sons of members of the conference who were in war service. 


The most significant action of the conference during this 
war period was its approval and support of the Methodist 
Centenary movement to raise 80 million dollars for home and 
foreign missions and educational work. The conference ac- 
cepted an apportionment approximating $500,000.00 a year for 
five years. This action was heartily supported by the Lay as- 
sociation. The gift for all ''disciplinary benevolences'' jumped 
from $265,000.00 in 1918 to $542,597.00 in 1919 and to $648,- 
600.00 in 1920. At that point a recession started and moved 
steadily downward to $178,516.00 in 1935, the lowest benevo- 
lent income in 25 years. It should be noted and remembered 
that during the period 1919-1932, inclusive, Rock River Con- 
ference gave to all "disciplinary benevolences", not including 
conference benevolence, the sum of $6,608,680.00. 

Following the war the conference was interested for a 
considerable period in the support of war relief agencies such 
as the Near East Relief work. 

The conference endorsed the ill-fated Interchurch World 
Movement of North America to raise $500,000,000.00 to world 

There was steady support for a national prohibition 
amendment, for the League of Nations, for American entry in- 
to the World Court, and for law enforcement. The purchase 
of an Episcopal residence was approved in 1924 and $300,000.00 
asked for a Rock River Chicago Forward Movement, a move- 
ment which did not accelerate. 

During this period there was much discussion of minimum 
salaries for members of the conference, and of salary equality. 
Group insurance was adopted in 1928, the radio ministry of 
George Courrier, a member of the conference was approved, 
and a joint report of district superintendents adopted. 

In the late twenties the Rock River Cvmference Woman's 
Association appeared to correlate the Ladies Aid Societies and 
similar organizations of women in the local churches. (See 
story elsewhere). In 1931 this group petitioned the General 
Conference for approval of a church wide organization of con- 
ference associations. 

This period not only brought the first World War with its 
great financial and moral strain but it also brought the long- 
est and worst depression in American history, which proved 
more of a financial and moral strain than the war. 

Naturally, the churches of Rock River Conference were 
deeply affected by the financial collapse. A study of incomes 
for various causes show a stubborn resistance against reduc- 
ing budgets. The incomes during the first two years of the 
depression are extraordinarily good. World Service had the 
advantage of the impetus of the Centenary, not yet spent. 


World Service did not hit the 1916 level until 1933, reaching 
the lowest in 1935 at the depth of the depression, then 
only $9000.00 below the 1916 level. 

Eventually, budgets had to be cut, then cut again, and yet 
again. Churches with debts suffered most. In many cases 
both interest and principal payments were deferred, some 
coming to points bordering on loss of property. Our institu- 
tions bore a very heavy burden. Some of them came to ex- 
treme distress. Many of our people were unemployed, many 
had greatly reduced incomes and some of those who had been 
most liberal were reduced to financial struggle. 

Fortunately, Bishop Ernest Lynn Waldorf came to Rock 
River Conference as resident bishop in the early stages of the 
depression. He put his enormous energy and great wisdom and 
skill behind suffering churches and institutions with the re- 
sult that not a single church or institution was lost. Too much 
cannot be said in appreciation of the services of Bishop Wal- 
dorf during this critical period. Much credit also must be 
given our Methodist people, their pastors and the heads of our 
institutions, for their self-sacrificing loyalty at a time when 
many were hard pressed by their own personal affairs. 


And now, having traced in broad outlines the progress of 
Methodism in Northern Illinois for more than a century, let 
us pause for a more detailed consideration of Chicago Meth- 
odism. This consideration is warranted by the enormous in- 
fluence of Chicago Methodism on the Methodism of Northern 
Illinois. We shall include in this review the area embraced in 
the Chicago districts, city and suburbs. 

Chicago Methodism began with the infancy of Chicago, 
and, for more than a century, has borne unbroken testimony 
in that rapidly-growing city. At the center of this century- 
long Methodist testimony and service in Chicago, stands the 
First Methodist Church, now called the Chicago Temple, at 
the southeast corner of Washington and Clark Streets. First 
Church is indeed the Mother of Chicago Methodism. The 
first Methodist Churches sprang directly from her. Others 
sprang from her offspring. In a very great sense the blood of 
First Church flows in the veins of every Methodist Church in 
Chicago. She has never ceased to give of her leaders to be- 
come leaders in new churches, she has never ceased to give of 
her rich counsel to other churches. For more than a half- 
century she has generously poured her financial income into 
new churches, lending assistance to almost every single church 
within the city limits, amounting in its total of gifts to one 
million dollars. A score or perhaps more Methodist Churches 


have been born in Chicago, grown to distinguished proportions, 
reached their zenith and ceased to be, but Old First Church 
maintained Methodism and Christianity at the heart of Chi- 
cago's Loop, or business district, for more than one hundred 
years. The influence of this Church upon the moral and 
spiritual welfare of Chicago no man can imagine. The value 
to Chicago Methodism of this virile, central church cannot be 
estimated. It may be said, with entire confidence, that the 
future of Chicago Methodism is as certainly tied up with First 
Church as its past has been. The loss of this great church 
would be a major loss to Chicago Methodism and Methodism 
in all the Middle West. 

Beginning with the beginning of Chicago, in a small log 
building used by Jesse Walker for home and church, Metho- 
dism has steadfastly kept on the growing edge of this extra- 
ordinary city. To fully amplify the fact just stated would 
require a volume of itself. We can only hint at the expansion 
of Chicago Methodism and leave it for some future historian 
to tell the real story. 

As has often been said, Chicago, like Gaul, is divided into 
three parts — North-West-South — these three divisions in a 
strange way shaping the historical development of the city. 
Likewise the ebb and flow of Methodism has followed within 
these three divisions. When Chicago pressed out in this, or 
that direction, Methodism promptly followed. To follow the 
rise and fall of Methodism in Chicago is to follow the ever- 
changing character and fortunes of the city. Behind the 
brief annals of Methodist Churches one sees vast shifts of 
population, social and economic changes, vast disasters and 
epochal achievements. 

The earliest population movement from the Central area 
was westward across the Chicago River. Here on the West 
side appeared our second church, "Canal Street", which stood 
on Canal street near Washington, where the Northwestern 
Railroad Station train sheds are now located. In 1853, we 
had four churches within the city and and six in the struggling 
villages within a few miles. By 1860 we had eight churches in 
the city with 911 members and 15 churches in the suburban 
area with 1516 members. 

By 1870 there were 11 city churches and 27 suburban 
churches, but the city churches had passed their neighbors in 
membership, 2802 to 2209, and property $674,000.00 to $107,- 
500.00. These figures indicate that larger churches are de- 
veloping in the city. In 1870 Centenary Church, between Hal- 
sted and Racine on Monroe Street, had come to a commanding 
position with 720 members, while First Church reported 267. 
At that time there were two Methodist Churches in Chicago 


with a membership of over 300, Centenary and Wabash 
Avenue, at Wabash and 14th street with a membership of 338 ; 
Grace Church at 950 N. La Salle Street had 223 members. In 
the country to the north, Evanston was a struggling village 
and had a Methodist Church with 384 members. In 1870 we 
had four substantial properties in Chicago, First Church, 
$350,000.00, Centenary, $110,000.00, Grace, $115,000.00, and 
Wabash Avenue, $120,000.00. Evanston First Church report- 
ed property valued at $15,000.00. 

The decade 1870-1880 shows a movement northward and 
southward, as well as westward. In 1880 Centenary reported 
804 members, Grace 363, Wabash 213, while three churches 
appeared on the south side with membership of over 300. 
Trinity reported $150,000.00 property and 404 members, 
Michigan Avenue $40,000.00 property and membership of 364, 
Wentworth Avenue, $10,000.00 property and 355 members. On 
the north side Grace shows an increase to 363 members. An- 
other church appears in the 300 membership rank, Grant Place 
with 325 members and $10,000.00 property. Thus the loop 
area was ringed by strong Methodist Churches on the three 
sides, serving new and prosperous sections of the city. 

The period 1880-1890 reveals a rapid expansion of the city, 
distinctly southward, and a like expansion of the church. It 
likewise brings ominous changes in the west side. Centenary 
shows a serious decline in membership. Churches farther west 
appear in the 300 or more membership bracket, such as West- 
ern Avenue, 700 members, Fulton Street, 462; Park Avenue, 
440; Southward Trinity shows an increase to 529 members 
and large churches began to loom up farther south, such as 
South Park Avenue, 352 ; Oakland, 641 ; and Englewood, 560. 

On the North side, Grace has 363 members and Wesley 
appears farther north with 517 members and a $40,000.00 

There is clear indication that the suburban movement is 
beginning. Evanston reports four churches with a total mem- 
bership of 1224 and Oak Park comes into the list of larger 
churches with 363 members at First Church, and property of 

By 1900 the population of the south side had shifted de- 
cidedly southward, leaving Wabash Avenue nearly stranded 
and Trinity sadly slipping, while Englewood soared up to 953 
members, and an Englewood 2nd Church appears with 136 
members, Oakland climbed to 803, South Park to 502. Three 
new churches appear in the upper brackets, Woodlawn, 324; 
Hyde Park, 340; St. James, 843; and, farther west, Garfield 
Park Boulevard appears with 448 members. 

During this period Centenary dropped below the 300 line. 


Far to the West, Austin appeared with 425 members. Grace, 
on the North side held her own, Wesley moved up to 625 mem- 
bers and $40,000.00 property, and Wicker Park reached 300 
members with $40,000.00 property. Evanston reported five 
churches with a total of 1549 members. Clearly the North 
side is on the march northward. 

By 1900 the city churches had taken a commanding lead 
over the suburban churches. There were 58 city churches with 
a membership of 14,175, Sunday School enrollment of 17,775, 
property amounting to $1,941,080.00 as compared with 36 
churches, 3313 members, 4484 in Sunday School and $308,- 
370.00 in property. 

In the early centuries of the Christian era, population in- 
creases in central Asia overflowed in succeeding streams into 
Europe, each overflow pushing father westward the previous 
population deposits. Something after this manner has been 
the population movements in Chicago. New streams of immi- 
gration have settled in the poorer districts nearer the Loop 
and crowded the previous occupants of these areas farther 
north, west or south. In time the village of Ravenswood 
which lay across the Northward advance of the city, was ab- 
sorbed, and the village of Hyde Park, on the South was ab- 
sorbed. Thus the city flowed on northward and westward un- 
til determined and wealthy suburbs like Evanston, Oak Park 
and Berwyn stooped its onward sweep north and west. The 
situation was different southward. Hyde Park, Woodlawn 
and Englewood succumbed to the city movement. Beyond 
these lay no stubborn suburban barriers but very much open 
country, into which the city could overflow without restric- 
tion. Hence, while the population exodus northward and west- 
ward was sweeping over into suburbs, the southward exodus 
still remained within the city limits. Another significant pop- 
ulation movement of this period was that Northwest along 
the Northwestern and the Milwaukee railroads. The effect 
of these population movements appear in the story of the three 
Chicago districts of the Methodist Church. 

The last decade of the 19th century showed a serious 
break in the steady onward march of Chicago Methodism. 
Four reasons may be suggested as causing this slowing down: 
The World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, the 
financial depression which gripped Chicago after the Fair, la- 
bor disturbances and riots in Chicago and the Spanish-Ameri- 
can war at the end of the decade. If there was a Methodist 
recession in the decade 1890-1900, it was only a breath-catch- 
ing for a new forward surge in the next decade. 

The first decade of the twentieth century was a period of 
large development both in Chicago and suburban Methodism. 


The suburbs began to race to match city growth. The city 
had a gain of 46 churches, with a total of 104 ; the suburbs 
gained 31 churches and had a total of 67. The city showed a 
membership of 23,123, a gain of 8948, the suburbs gained 5769, 
with a total of 9,032. Sunday School enrollment in the city 
marched up to 32,297, a gain of 15,224 while the suburbs had 
a gain of 7,447 and a total of 11,961. Property values in the 
city advanced from $1,941,080.00 to $3,547,620.00, while the 
suburbs showed a gain of $295,630.00, not yet having reached 
the million dollar mark. This oeriod closed with 26 churches 
in Chicago with membership above 300 as compared with 15 
in 1900 ; Also three churches, namely, Englewood, St. James, 
and Austin pushed into the 1000 membership or over class. In 
1900 there were two suburban churches with over 300 mem- 
bers, First and Heminway, Evanston, by 1910 La Grange, Oak 
Park, First, and Wheaton had joined the list. It is clear now 
that the suburban march is on in a big way. 

The 1910-1920 period showed a definite halt in Methodist 
advance in Chicago; during this decade the total of churches 
declined by 3, increases in membership dropped from 8948 to 
3689, the western district in Chicago showed an actual loss 
of 1218, Sunday School enrollment showed a loss of 354 as 
compared with a gain in 1900-1910 period of 15,224, and prop- 
erty increases dropped to $541,184.00 the lowest gain since 
1853. The only reasons apparent for this decline were The 
World War and the suburban exodus. For, during this period, 
the suburbs showed gains of 25 in churches, 9,575 in members, 
for the first time passing Chicago gains, gained 8,900 in Sun- 
day School enrollment, as compared with Chicago loss of 354, 
and an amazing gain in property, $1,850,000.00 a gain of $1,- 
246,000.00. At the close of this period the city had 34 
churches in the 300 member class as compared with 25 in 1910, 
and the suburbs show their first 1,000 membership church, 
First Chuch, Evanston, with 1297. While this period marks 
a big march of membership to the suburbs, it also shows a big 
shift southward in Chicago, where a line of great churches 
appear, Englewood, Morgan Park, St. James, Thobern and 

The 1920-30 report for Chicago is spotted. Chicago 
showed a loss of 14 churches on all three districts but a gain 
of 6578 members, gains in each district, 910 on the Northern, 
1057 on the Western and 4391 on the Southern, suggesting that 
the Southern district holds the population shift southward 
while the other two districts lose to the suburbs. 

The number of churches in the 300 membership by 1930 
was 34 in the city, 13 in the Northern district, 21 in the South- 
ern and 7 in the Western. The number in this class in the 


suburbs has moved up from 19 to 26, 10 in the Northern dis- 
trict and 16 in the Western. The city has six churches in the 
1000 or over class; Calvary, 1061; Englewood, 1232; Morgan 
Park, 1128; St. James, 1250; Thoburn, 1735; Austin, 2315; 
The suburbs had two in the 1000 class : Evanston, First, 1852, 
and Oak Park, First, 1040. 

During this period Chicago showed a loss of 2131 Sunday 
School enrollment and the suburbs a gain of 5,016. Chicago 
gain $2,000,000.00 in property, excluding cost of the Temple, 
$7,500,000.00. The suburbs gained $3,603,450.00 in property, 
a total of $5,453,45.00, for the first time equalling the prop- 
erty holdings of Chicago Churches, excepting the Temple. And, 
very significantly the number of suburban churches were in 
excess of city churches, the number being 100 to 87. 

We come now to the closing decade, 1930-40. Again our 
reports are mixed, light and shadows — Chicago gained two 
churches but lost 8 on the Western district, reducing the num- 
ber on the Western district to 17, with a total membership of 
6429, of whom 2361 are reported from Austin. The losses are 
made up by gains of 1 church in the Northern district and 9 
in the Southern. There is a membership gain in this decade 
of 8197 in the city, the largest of any previous decade, save 
1900-1910, with a gain of 8948. Property gains were slight, 
$147,000.00. Sunday Schools show a loss of 4332. Looking at 
the suburbs, there is a gain of 2 churches, a gain of 1698 mem- 
bers, less than the previous two decades, a loss of 3162 in Sun- 
day Schools, as compared with gains in two previous decades 
of 5,016 and 8,900, and property gains of $1,716,425.00. 

At the end of this period the city showed 44 churches in 
the 300 membership or more class, as compared with 41 in 
1930, and the suburbs had 35, as compared with 26 in 1930. 
The city showed 8 churches in 1940 in the 1000, or over, class 
as compared with 9 in 1930 and the suburbs showed 8, as com- 
pared with 2 in 1930. The northern District in Chicago didn't 
show a single 1000 member church, the western had one, 
Austin. The Southern had 7 churches of 1000 or more mem- 
bers, Englewood 1206, Morgan Park, 1699, St. James, 1662, St. 
John's 1161, Thoburn, 2460, Trinity, 1132, Woodlawn, 1311. 
The suburban churches in the 1000 class are Covenant, 1005 ; 
First, Evanston, 3048; Waukegan, 1400; Wesley, (Aurora), 
1093; Berwyn, 1010; Glen Ellyn, 1207; La Grange, 1141; First, 
Oak Park, 1150. It will be seen by the foregoing figures that 
two Chicago Churches, Austin, 2361 and Thoburn 2469, have 
passed the 2000 mark and one suburban church has passed the 
3000 mark, Evanston, First, 3048 members. 

It is interesting to note that Chicago area passed the 
outstate area of the Conference in membership in the decade 


1870-1880, with 32,210 members as compared with 27,734. The 
Chicago area passed the outside area in the matter of prop- 
erty, with $961,600.00 as compared with $814,408.00. In the 
1890-1900 decade Chicago passed the outstate area in Sunday 
School enrollment, with 36,166 compared with 27,820 In the 
total number of churches the outstate area held the lead until 
1930, when the Chicago area reported 186 churches to 176 in 
the country. The Chicago area and outstate both shared the 
losses in Sunday School enrollment in the decade 1930-1940, a 
loss in the Chicago area of 11,767 and the outstate 5207, a to- 
tal loss of 16,696. Looking back over the record we discover 
the high point of Sunday School enrollment was in 1922, with 
a total of 97,734. Compared with 1940, there is a decline of 
19,298 in the Sunday Schools. 1923 shows the first break in 
the long climb in Sunday School enrollment. The pendulum 
swings back and forth with little variance until 1929, when 
there was a loss of 3,999 in one year. There was a slight 
recovery in 1931 and 1932. Then the decline became steady 
and unbroken. This decline in Sunday School attendance be- 
comes more puzzling when we note a steady and unbroken rise 
of membership from 1920 to 1940, a gain of 43,470 church 
members in two decades. The trend of membership gains by 
decades shows an unbroken advance over a period of 100 years. 
One reason for the loss in Sunday School pupils is the decline 
of the birth rate during this period. 

Perhaps we should note here that the record of the con- 
ference during ten decades shows a steady increase of mem- 
bership, property, benevolences and pastoral support, except a 
break in benevolences in 1930 and 1940 and, in pastoral sup- 
port, in 1940. If the property column included the reported 
value of the Chicago Temple, there would be no break in that 
column, leaving the only break in 100 years that of pastoral 
support and benevolences. One is impressed with the loyalty 
of Rock River Conference to its pastors when he notes the 
decline in pastoral support during the depression decade of 
1930-1940 is only $184,954.00. 

It is significant that all of our existing conference insti- 
tutions were inaugurated in Chicago, or by Chicago leaders. 
The one possible exception to this statement is Jenning's Sem- 
inary, and this institution was headed and nurtured in its 
early days by the Reverend John Clark, pastor of the First 
Methodist Church of Chicago. Of course, the reason for these 
institutions flourishing in Chicago is that we had here a con- 
centration of capital to build them and of membership to sus- 
tain them. We will not undertake here to tell the story of 
these institutions. Elsewhere in this volume their great story 
is told. 


We must not close this story of Methodism in Illinois 
without at least an inadequate word of appreciation of the 
part taken by our lay members in the building of our Method- 
ism. In the reports of the work during these more than one 
hundred years the pastors of the churches stand forth in heroic 
grandeur. Behind this line of sublime leaders one sees a vast 
army of men, women and children whose loyalty, talents and 
self-sacrifices make an epic which no man can possibly ap- 
praise. From the far off pioneer days of poverty and struggle 
for a livelihood to this past trying decade of depression, the 
people called Methodists have never faltered. In drought, in 
flood, in fire, in epidemic, in war, in panic and in depression, 
they have maintained strong hearts and bourne the "burden 
of the Kingdom of God" with joy and patience. Let us hope 
that some gifted historian of the future will give the honor 
due those gallant sons and daughters of God. 

Looking back across the long, long years since 1829, when 
our first two churches were organized at Galena and Plain- 
field, one sees the story of Methodism in Northern Illinois un- 
fold in four stages: the days of far-ranging and daring pio- 
neer preachers, the days of struggling churches, the days of 
the development of social institutions and, finally, the days of 
wealth and the development of great churches. One sees un- 
flagging zeal for the Kingdom of God in the salvation of in- 
dividual souls, a growing responsiveness to social needs and 
improvement, a rare capacity for readjustment to meet new 
conditions, a talent for statesman, characterized by far vision 
for the future, and an unyielding faith in spiritual values and 
in the ultimate triumph of the Church of Jesus Christ over a 
stubborn and unregenerate materialism in human life. Truly, 
we Methodists of Northern Illinois may boast of forebearers 
"of whom the world is not worthy", men and women who have 
"obtained a good report through faith" and who received not 
the promise, God having provided some better thing for us, 
that they without us should not be made perfect." 

What the future holds for us, and for the Church of 
Jesus Christ, no man can know. We close the century of 
Methodism in Northern Illinois under the shadow of another 
world-wide war and far-reaching revolutions. A pagan phil- 
osophy of life throws a dark shadow across the world. A 
gigantic struggle between the Christian way of life and the 
pagan way of life is rapidly developing throughout the world. 
Before these lines are in print the Christian Church may have 
received staggering defeats. Civilization may have fallen to 
pieces and chaos may be stalking across the earth, attended by 
famine, death and desolation. The forces of darkness may be 
dominating mankind. If it be so, what then? In all these 



things, we shall remember those who went before us and 
"through faith subdued kindgoms, wrought righteousness and 
obtained promises", who "out of weakness were made strong, 
waxed valient in battle and turned to flight armies of aliens". 
"Seeing we are compassed about by so great a cloud of wit- 
nesses, let us lay aside the sin which doth so easily beset us, 
and let us run with patience the race set before us, looking un- 
to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" and "follow 
peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall 
see God". Then, then, in all of these things we shall be more 
than conquerors. For such a time as this we are come into 
the kingdom. 




Of The Rock River Annual Conference 

Community Gymnasium Mount Morris. Illinois 



9:00 A.M. Opening of the Conference Session 

Hymn Faith Of Our Fathers. Living Still 

Prayer The Reverend Reynold N. Hoover 

Words of Welcome. Mr. Otto Hudson. Mayor of Mount Morris 
Conference Business 

10:00 A.M. Report of the Conference Commission on World Service 

The Reverend W. L. Collins. Chairman of the Commission. 
10:00 A.M. Meeting of the Rock River Conference Women's Society of 

Christian Service, at the Mount Morris Methodist Church 
10:30 A.M. Recess 

10:40 A.M. Conference Session. Presentation of the program of the Wom- 
en's Society of Christian Service, by the national president 

of the Society Mrs. J. D. Bragg 

12 Noon Devotional Address Bishop Ernest Lynn Waldorf 

12:25 P.M. Adjournment 

12:30 P.M. Ministers' Wives' Luncheon, at the Church of the Brethren .... 

Mary Randolph Bloomquist. president, presiding 

12:30 P.M. Retired Ministers' Luncheon, at the Masonic Hall 


2:00 P.M. Conference Session 

Greetings from Fraternal Delegates from the Illinois. Wiscon- 
sin, and Iowa Conferences 
3: CO P.M. THE CENTENNIAL SERVICE. Bishop Ernest Lynn Waldorf 

Hymn March On. O Soul. With Strength 

Led by The Reverend Dr. Harlow V. Holt 

Prayer Offered by The Reverend Dr. John Thompson 

Address: "Forwarding The Spiritual Balances" 

Bishop Edwin Holt Hughes, of Washington. D. C. 

Hymn All Hail The Power of Jesus' Name 

4:00 P.M. Dedication of the Historical Marker, at the Thomas S. Hitt 
farm, now owned by Mr. Harry G. Kable. The Reverend 
Aimer M. Pennewell. chairman of the Centennial Commis- 
sion, presiding 

Hymn And Are We Yet Alive? 

Remarks and Dedication Bishop Ernest Lynn Waldorf 

Benediction The Reverend William L. Manny 


"Behold, What Hath God Wrought!" 

Community Gymnasium Mount Morris, Illinois 

October 4, 1940 — At 7:30 P. M. 

Processional: The Ministers of the Rock River Conference and their wives, 

led by the Reverend Dr. and Mrs. Churley A. Bloomquist and the Rev- 
erend Mr. and Mrs. William L. Manny, hosts of the Conference. 
Prologue: Presented by the LaSalle Methodist Church 

The Galena Methodist Church 

The Plainfield Methodist Chuich 

The Chicago Temple 

Ministers of the Conference and Members of the Mount Morris Kiwanis 

The Normal Park Methodist Church, Chicago 

The Olivet Methodist Church, Chicago 

The Academy Methodist Church, Chicago 

The St. John's Methodist Church, Chicago 

Shown by the illuminated map 

The Plainfield Methodist Chuich 

The Plainfield and Plattville Methodist Churches with the Ensemble 
and youth delegations. 

Organization of the Pageant 

Mary Randolph Bloomquist — Chairman of the Pageant Committee 

Alberta Billheimer and Aimer M. Pennewell 

Co-Authors of the Pageant 

Alberta Billheimer Director 

Guy Chester Jones Associate Director 

Mallory Bransford Music 

T. A. Cooke Make-up 

The illuminated map was built by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Billheimer 

The organ is supplied by the Hammond Organ Company. 


OCTOBER 4, 1940 


By Bishop Edwin Holt Hughes 

of Washington, D. C. 

The specific theme of this address is based upon a figure of speech 
taken from commercial bookkeeping. We offer no apology for the admitted 
pun but bid you all wait for a glimpse of its meaning. 

The Methodist movement felt itself commissioned to restore balance 
to an unbalanced world. Whether we read the well-known account in the 
North British Review or the dreadful story of English drunkenness in 
Green's History, we must conclude that the society of Wesley's period 
was a twisted and distorted thing. One of the strange anomalies of history 
is that the reformers are usually called deformers. Those who come to set 
the world aright are accused of turning the world upside down. So were 
the first disciples of Jesus arraigned — even as were the early followers of 
Wesley. The insane world would naturally regard sanity as insanity be- 
cause the standards were far removed from rightful centers. Quotations 
from contemporary comments on early Methodism show that many people 
regard the whole movement as a crazy crusade bearing an unbalanced 
message to a fairly balanced society. 

But the contention of this address is that the Wesleyan movement even 
in its earliest stages showed the marks of balance. The appeal is that the 
latest Wesleyan movement shall recover and maintain that same type of 
balance. The picture of our Founder himself is not that of a fanatic. If 
men in his life-time called John Wesley by that epithet, it was because 
they themselves were fanatical. He stands in that eighteenth century as 
about the steadiest thing there was — a serene spirit amid mobs; an unshak- 
en soul in a tremulous time. The world deemed its own topsy-turviness as 
equilibrium. Being itself upsidedcwn it mistook its inverted position for an 
erect posture. Wesley came to recover that world to uprightness. He was 
the apostle of a true naturalness, seeking to bring a prodigal society, that 
regarded a sty as its home, back to the Father's House. 

This writer has had before him in his preparation the first Discipline 
of the Church. It is in no sense an abnormal document, specializing in 
the language of the psychopathic. It is, on the contrary, so sensible in its 
counsels that the reader must wonder how the cause that it represented 
ever secured the repute of a jerky effort to disturb a world of peace! Beyond 
this, it may be affirmed with confidence that its succession known as 
modern Methodism has as its chief problem to catch the spirit and mood 
and way of those beginning days and to give to the present eccentric world 
an assured center for its own life. 

There are at least four respects in which the example of that distant 
symmetry may well be followed by this present shaking and disillusioned 

I. The first relates to a proper balance between reverent worship and 
prophetic preaching. That initial Discipline contains the dignified ritual- 
istic services that had been framed by Cranmer and other masters; and was 
given to America by the Methodist Church, but it also contained fervent 


directions about offering an effectual and persuasive gospel to all peoples. 
It is a lovely combination of dignity and earnestness, and it reveals no 
sense of contradiction between the two things. For the special occasions it 
held to the liturgies; for the presentation of the saving truth it placed em- 
phasis upon prophetic preaching. It so fervently loved the sacraments that 
the demand for them led to ecclesiastical separateness ; but with that in- 
sistent stress it still held to preaching that knew storm and passion and 

Those two factors moved together in the history as partners that knew 
no quarrelling — with a leadership so wise that it raised no false issues but 
pressed both persuasions in their time and seasons. The Church was com- 
pelled to produce Gothic souls without Gothic cathedrals, and to produce 
homiletics without Professors. It did both things so powerfully that it 
shook a continent from rim to rim without stopping to debate the primacy 
of the twin forces. Camp Meetings often became scenes of a reverence, 
awful in its quietness — even as they became scenes of a persuasion, awful 
its appeal. The issue between the two was scarcely raised. If early Metho- 
dism had been only a liturgical advance it would have perished amid 
niceties; if it had been only a vociferous preaching festival it would have 
been buried beneath its own homiletical floods. But it so well balanced 
the two forces that there abides scarcely a record of a strained relation 
and no tale whatever of parties or factions that gathered about either 

Modern Methodism needs the lesson. It is not at all a question of the 
constant heresy of "either-or"; it is rather a demand for the unfailing 
orthodoxy of "both-and". The movement cannot strongly survive without 
the spirit of public worship; neither can it strongly survive without the 
passionate fire of prophetic preaching. The call is for both and a man is 
only half a man who emphasises one of these— only with true modifications 
such as fit them into this new Century. 

II. In the second place early Methodism kept a balance between warm 
evangelism and religious education. The modern advocates of the latter em- 
phasis are justified in their claim that their movement has an honorable 
lineage reaching back to Wesley himself and is not therefore to be attacked 
as an intruder with an overdone modernity. This first Discipline reveals 
the lesson. Perhaps its largest single section concerning spiritual life, 
apart from ecclesiastics as such, related to the religious culture of child- 
hood. We make no absurd claim when we say that Horace Bushnell's 
book, "Christian Nurture", still the unsurpassed and unequal literature of 
that tender gospel, was a wonderful restatement of the Wesleyan position, 
even though Bushnell himself did not fully know that fact. 

We must admit, of course, that the Methodist movement had to grow 
up on its own good theory. A new ecclesiastical enterprise does not start with 
childhood as its leadership. We meet John and Luke and Paul and Barna- 
bas only after they are full-grown, while the child in the New Testament 
is almost always anonymous. No one knows the name of the child in our 
midst. It was thus with beginning Wesleyanism. Its leaders were necessarily 
adults. The Church could not begin either here or over-seas with a Cradle 
Roll. If it had waited for the outcomes of religious education as its start- 
ing point, it would never have started. It began not in a Sunday School, 
but in a College— not with a Primary Department but with a Men's Class. 

Yet it is to the vast credit of its first leaders that their adult exper- 
iences did not hinder a speedy stress upon the teaching function of the 


Church. Had they been narrow, they would have wrought out a system of 
discipline that emphasized only the fiery gospel by which their own oft- 
times hardened hearts had been converted to Christ the Redeemer. Yet 
be it gratefully noted that their theory about the religious state of childhood 
was right from the beginning. It is true that the practice of the theory met 
with real difficulties, as it does today. Sometimes adult standards were 
placed upon the children, as Mr. Wesley's rules for the Kingswood School 
would clearly witness. The tendency was to make children religiously old 
and to forget Paul's phrase "When I was a child." The theory itself re- 
mained truer than its advocates. On the pages of those old and fading 
Disciplines the child walks in full company with men and women. One of 
the marvels of religious history is seen in the way in which men who 
were the rousing experts in adult conversions were broad enough to ad- 
mit religious education, as a program, into their work for Christ's king- 

Doubtless the nearness of that provision for youth to the intense cam- 
paign for the conversion of men and women had one good effect: the plans 
for the boys and girls were never techniqued or psychologized into paralysis: 
The system in the little book was accompanied by the numerals one, two, 
three; but it was never "arithmeticked" into abstractions or denuded into 
skeletons. It contains scarcely less passion than do the printed portions 
that deal with evangelistic preaching to the full-grown. It did not treat 
children merely as psychological subjects, but as immortal souls. The 
warmth of gospel preaching fell upon the cooler realm of instruction — so 
much so that often the Sunday School teacher was the most powerful lieu- 
tenant in the converting effort and moved down the ancient aisles with 
his own scholars as the trophies of his anxious supplication. The earlier Dis- 
ciplines show no sense of contest between the two methods. As in the 
New Testament, Jesus placed the child in the company of matured Dis- 
ciples — that the Church might always know that to set the two into opposi- 
tion was a token of unconscious narrowness. 

Once years ago I was fishing at Epworth Heights with my dear friend 
the late Bishop Earl Cranston. We caught only small minnows— almost as 
if we were vying with each other in the opposite of the usual piscatorial 
stories! Finally, the Bishop said to me, "This is bad, very bad! It is too 
much like a revival with no adult conversions!" It is a humorous parable — 
but it has an application of deadly seriousness. We need to recover and 
maintain the balance between warm evangelism and religious education. 
Both will suffer unspeakably unless we do. God knows that there are 
enough wayward men and women and enough neglected boys and girls to 
allow eager work in both realms. We must have a gospel that keeps the 
child in the midst but does not neglect Nicodemus. The message that can 
save a hardened adult only the more proves its ability to save a careless 
youth. All of our own childhood's memories will convince us that the older 
human evidences of grace in our local church's life confirmed our faith 
in the dear Redeemer. As a boy I knew that the Saviour that had rescued 
John Griffiths from the gutter of drunkeness could take care of me. Again 
it is not at all a case of "either-or"; it is another glorious case of 
"both-and". Our eager evangelists who are prone to slur the program for 
Decision Day, and for all the days of youthful training, are departing from 
the standards of orthodoxy. Our eager instructors are equally heretical 
when tempted to emphasize religious education until the noun is vociferous 
and the adjective falls into a dying whisper. Both parties need to see that 


balance which brought its double faith and work, to our early denomina- 
tional life and which passed without quarreling from catechetical classer 
for children to the throbbing revivals that swept hoary sinners into the 
arms of Christ. 

III. The third form of balance is that between the personal gospel 
and the social gospel. In a way any contest between the two would seem 
be a quarrel between the outer life and the inner life. The discussion be- 
gan early in the history of the Christian faith. The Apostle James raises it 
vigorously in his Epistle — he apparently standing for conduct that re- 
presented an objective loyalty to the ideals of Christ. He seemed to possess 
a stern practicality that led him to belabour an imaginary opponent in 
discussion. We can all understand why Martin Luther, reacting from outer 
observances in the form of sacraments, reacted, also, from other outer 
emphases and went so far as to declare that James' letter was "an epistle 
of straw." Thus even the New Testament reveals a tendency for the social 
gospel and the personal gospel to fall into the fist-shaking attitude. 

The early Wesleyan movement balanced the two stand-points, as 
finely as have other great religious movements. Certainly on the side of 
charity it quickly began its kindly expression — in the establishment of 
Medical Dispensaries and Loan Agencies. Eric North's book on "Early 
Methodist Philanthropy" is an impressive exhibit. It must be said, also, 
that John Wesley individually met the demands of his own social gospel. 
He did not dwell in elegance. He shared all that he had. He might have 
been rich, but he died without giving the tax-assessor any difficulty in 
computing percents! In a competitive world he did not compete. In a per- 
sonal way he lived up utterly to his social theories. 

The case went further than this. In one matter he insisted on an im- 
mense social application. We need not quote his famous letter to William 
Wilberforce on Slavery. One set of my grandparents loved it and were 
ready to put it into the holy Canon! The other set hated it and would 
have ranked it with the literature of an impudent perdition. Evidently Mr. 
Wesley felt that slavery had such a distinctly moral side as to compel a 
stand. In another realm, however, his utterances do not cause any special 
pride. His "Calm Address' was not at all calming! Indeed it proved to be 
a stormy paper. It touched a distinctly political realm. One could doubtless 
make out a good contention to the effect that the independence of the 
Colonies was a moral matter — though Canada and Australia seemed able 
to work out their problems within the Empire and without feeling that 
they were alien to the realm of God! Who was the wiser — John Wesley 
in his contention-making pamphlet, or Francis Asbury in his purpose 
silence and exile — waiting until the cyclone of Revolution should pass? 
Duly it was discovered that the Methodist movement could flourish in a 
monarchy and in a Republic; and that political theories, as such, were not 
its primary region of effort. 

Two things stand out in the social attitude of our earliest Wesleyan 
forbears. First, they did not plant their tree upside-down! The revival was 
first; the social deeds came as natural fruits. Locating the main business 
of the gospel within the heart, Wesley was still afraid of mysticism. He 
dreaded a quietism that became an end in itself. Second, any religious 
movement in that day, or earlier, or quite later, might be blamed for fail- 
ure to apply a social gospel. Yet it is not at all an over-statement when 
we declare that, while some may criticize the Wesleyan crusade as being 
too individualistic it is still doubtful whether on the whole planet at that 


time any group of Christians could have been found who so finely balanced 
the mystical and practical elements of our faith, or who made more ef- 
ficient beginnings in social reforms that were afterward to shine beautifully 
in the expression of the Christian life. 

Plainly a study of that balance may give a good lesson to present and 
future Methodism. The discussion of the Epistle of James sometimes comes 
upon us again, rather fiercely— the individualist group talking as if the 
social group betrayed Christ in the inner life, the social group talking as if 
the individual group betrayed Christ in outer behaviour. The two groups 
may be different in utterance; they are probably not so different in charac- 
ter. Ocasionally both groups could well pray for a sanctified mood of 
debating. Everything considered, Methodism came successfully through the 
controversy on the second blessing. She survived the controversy 
on the Biblical question without vast loss. When the issue 
widened into one between so-called conservatism and so-called liberalism 
we weathered the tempest and came at last into a harbour of peace. We 
should now be guilty of a vast and scarcely forgivable blunder if we made 
our Conference sessions seasons of uproarious debates over two stand- 
points that are plainly a legitimate part of our gospel— even as we should 
be blameworthy before God if we encouraged a spirit of faction that expres- 
sed itself in partisan attitudes. 

On the one hand, we must learn to be patient. We have always had 
splendid specialists. From our ranks there have emerged men who took 
one cause and became its burning heralds. Usually these men, not being in 
the pastorate, felt a call to proclaim an important fragment rather than 
"the whole counsel of God." In our regular ministrations the personal gos- 
pel and the social gospel must abide as permanent features. But doubtless 
for a considerable period 'we shall still have to find comfort in the fact 
that our faith is so wonderful that its application cannot be symbolized by 
Jonah's gourd which grew in a night! Nor must we be asked to halt evan- 
gelistic work until all outer reforms are brought to semi-perfection. It is 
well that our pioneer workers in China did not wait until the opium trade 
was destroyed; and that the pioneers in India did not tarry until the caste 
system disappeared. We are in dire need of a proper internationalism; but 
sturdy bands of Christian brothers in every land are the surest prophecies 
of its coming. 

Beyond all this there is another difficult problem. The border lines 
of life are not always plainly marked. Hence there abides a question as to 
the legitimate realm for our preaching. Doubtless Mr. Wesley felt that the 
matter of Colonial relations had its spiritual side. Probably the same may 
be said of the tariff; of the currency question; of canal tolls; of Behring 
Sea fish! Yet the Church in its corporate capacity has not usually protes- 
ted where the mass of the question fell toward economic expertness rather 
than toward moral judgement. On the other hand she has spoken with 
boldness on starvation wages; on the liquor problem; on child labor; on 
the gambling evil; on personal purity; on divorce. Her direct approach 
to the method of political government must always be made with caution 
and under a sense of terrific obligation. It would be a thousand pities if 
a vocal majority should by enactment or resolution commit the Church to 
Republicanism or Democracy; if a vocal minority should seem to commit 
her to any other party. Our individual members must be left free; but 
the identification of a Church with a political party or with a particular 
technique of economic theory will in due season be taken by many as an 


invitation to departure. On the other hand, earnest men who plead in 
proportion that Christ is the ruler of the market place, and that his spirit 
and principles should be applied to industrial life, should not be loudly 
classified as Soviets, or Socialists, or Communists, or Anarchists! This 
whole task of creating a redeemed society is so tremendous that it calls for 
both regeneration and education. If the Paul who meets his Lord on the 
Damascus Road is not at once faced with the full social gospel, he will 
at any rate move nearer to holy decisions about the relief of the Jerusalem 
widows; the right relations of all races as comprehended in Christ — and 
the broadening of the meaning of faith into an application to all the ways 
of life. Early Methodism did not yield to the false dilemma of "either-or"; 
once more she caught the gospel of "both-and" and held on to them tightly. 
In the good time coming we shall discover that Jesus the Saviour is Jesus 
the Carpenter; that his gospel is like the seamless robe woven throughout 
from top to bottom. It is sheer folly to convert the unified textures of the 
robes of Jesus into quarrelsome shreds! 

IV. Finally, early Methodism offers to its modern extension an example 
of balance between the intellect and the emotion in religious expression. 
More than many persons would see the Calvinistic controversy was here 
involved. Wesley and his comrades were not willing to have God even 
partially destroyed in the name of a syllogism. Dr. Buckley used to say 
that Jonathan Edwards' great work on the Will had never been completely 
answered on the purely intellectual side. Did it not have an answer in 
another region? When the sensibilities joined the mind in the making of a 
complete person was this person satisfied with the God formed only in the 
refrigerator of Logic? Plainly not! Even in doctrine early Methodism in- 
sisted upon a balance between the head and the heart. The combined 
faculties told our forbears that, as they must save men for God, so also 
must they save a Good God for men. 

This balance went farther than the length of a doctrinal statement. It 
moved into the field of religious expression. Let it be admitted that some- 
times that expression became so fervent as to make man speak scornfully of 
the effects of new wine and to intimate that there was such a thing as 
spiritual intoxication. Methodism was scolded, just as Pentecost was! There 
seemed to be something like a law in it all. Joy is a natural producer of 
laughter, and sadness uses tears. Good news flushes the blood into a 
radiant face; evil news holds back the blood from the whitening cheeks. 
Physical phenomena have come with every revival. Jonathan Edwards 
found them, even in the religious experience of his life. Without doubt this 
vigorous feature of early Methodism has been exaggerated. The "Shout- 
ing Methodist" was always in the minority, but he was noticeable enough 
to fasten an adjective upon his silent partners. The Shouting Methodist 
was always in the minority but he was so loud he fastened his adjective 
on the rest of us. Madam, if someone wants to shout "Amen," don't mis- 
take your nerves for refinement. Yet that minority was a credential. The 
Church can ill afford to regard the Pauline type of experience as an out- 
lawed thing — even though in the New Testament and in our time the Johan- 
nine is far more prevalent. The Paul of the Damascus Road and the Wes- 
ley Aldersgate Street were not emotional extremists! Their minds and 
hearts simply came at last into a gracious union. 

In that spirit our pioneer preachers preached. Discarding psychology 
as a pulpit subject, they used it in sanctified shrewdness as a pulpit method. 
They heeded not the modern heterodoxy that the mind was created to 


be expressed, and the heart was made to be repressed! More and more we 
discover that the distance from the intellect to the will is so great that 
unless religious truth is given a fresh start in the religion of the sensibili- 
ties, it is certain to fall into the chasm. The ideal rather demanded that 
both should be given their chance and that they were to move in company 
to all the elections of life, and especially to the election of Eternal life. I 
do not like intellectual icicles nor do I like emotional gushers. I never 
saw a completely intellectual conversion. The lonely working of either sim- 
ply does not produce admirable character. Intellectual icicles freeze us! 
Emotional gushers scald us! In this region the problem remains one of 
balance. The gospel must move equally upon mind and heart in order 
that it may make a conquest of the will. 

Some years ago, in a conversation with President Elliot of Harvard, 
he took the Methodists to task for "our over emotions". I replied, "It is 
nearer the truth today, that the Methodists have a bit of emotionalism. The 
Colleges are the scene of greatest emotion in present day America." 

"What do you mean?" he asked. 

"Why", I replied, "I have seen college professors at football games act 
so hysterically they should have been arrested for disorderly conduct." 

God gave us hearts as well as minds and not to use our hearts is a sin 
against God. 

It was the union of these factors that led to the Wesleyan emphasis 
upon experience. It declined to be a slave of a vulgar empiricism which de- 
clared that we can know the things of the lower life by the physical senses 
but that we cannot know the things of the higher life by our spiritual 
senses. It affirmed that repentance was as real as a muscle, that faith was 
as genuine as a tree, and that conversion was as much a fact as a blowing 
breeze. From the dictionary of the soul it took the word "assurance" and 
flung it against the world of doubt. It personalized its testimony and led 
multitudes of good men and women to say: "We know that Christ has 
saved us. We know that He is ever making us better. We know that we 
have passed from death unto life. We know that we carry eternity in our 
hearts. We know that we are now the sons of God; and we wait expec- 
tantly for more glorious revealings." So they wrought that conviction into 
hundreds of hymns that moved upon human souls like musical certain- 
ties. This was not always because their experiences were so different but 
because they had found the key to a confident interpretation. Those who 
had previously walked the way had told new converts how to explain the 
mood of the Emmaus Road until the burning heat became the token of 
a risen Lord, once unrecognized but now savingly revealed. 

The developing experience only increased the assurance. Living with 
the Lord in faith, and hope, and peace, the comfort, and service they loved 
Him the more until He became their rapture and their song. In a world that 
was always seeking to rearrest Christ and to bring him before the courts 
of a thousand Pilates they became his witnesses and published to men the 
"signs infallible" that were in their experiences. They did this so mightily 
that they made the waves of salvation roll with the tides of life that moved 
westward over a continent. With an audacity worthy of those who had 
heard the Great Commission those men, mostly young men, declared that 
they were going to "reform the continent and to spread Scriptural holiness 
over these lands." They did that very thing in the name of Christ. They 
climbed the last mountain, forded the last river, crossed the last desert, to 
find the last man and bid him cast down his weapon of rebellion against 


the Infinite Lover of Souls. If the story could be fully told the inspired 
poet of the tale would charm us with the historical vision until it should all 
be turned into the prophecy of our own consecration; and there would 
arrive fresh revelations of grace and new surrenders to the God and Father 
of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

All this must come by something deeper and more vital than Imitation. 
The flower gets its glory not by imitating the sun but by appropriating its 
light and warmth and power. Many of us must grow weary of exhortations 
that command us to be like our spiritual forefathers, even as we grow weary 
of the excusing statement that our faith must fit the times when it scarce- 
ly seems big enough to fit a minute or a second! The plea for a different 
expression must not mean that there shall be no expression. The new day 
must be used not as an alibi but as an opportunity. The past and future of 
Methodism cannot be bound together by ties of artificial mimicry. Those 
are too weak and slender to carry over the spiritual voltage. This strange 
hard time would prove a season of promise if it should throw us back upon 
the Holy Spirit— upon the great source of power to which our forebears 

When I came to this last section of my message I tarried long — feeling 
that a mere climax would be a form of sacrilege, an attempt at peroration 
much like a parade before the Holy of Holies. But in the midst of the prayer 
that halted my pen and subdued by heart, I felt that I heard the voice of 
God summoning myself and my Methodist Comrades to that perpetual 
altar where Christ ministers with changeless grace, "The same yesterday, 
today, and forever." Does the Centennial Rock River Conference have a 
Damascus Road for other Pauls; a sacred stairway for other Luthers; an 
Aldersgate Street for other Wesleys? Let it be so, O Lord; May our Fathers' 
God be merciful to their sons! 



New York, 1844 

Bartholomew Weed, John Sinclair, H. W. Reed, J. T. Mitchell. 

Pittsburg, 1848 
Henry Summers, Richard Haney, A. E. Phelps, Philo Judson, John 

Boston, 1852 
A. E. Phelps, Luke Hitchcock, S. P. Keyes, Richard Haney. John 

Indianapolis, 1856 
G. L. Mulfinger, Luke Hitchcock, J. Luccock, Hooper Crews, John 
Dempster (reserve in place of S. P. Keyes, H. Summers, Richard Haney, 
J. Morey. 

Buffalo, I860 
Luke Hitchcock, G. L. Mulfinger, Hooper Crews, T. M. Eddy, J. C. 
Stoughton, John Dempster. 

Philadelphia, 1864 
Luke Hitchcock, T. M. Eddy, G. L. Mulfinger, W. T. Harlow (reserve 
in place of John Dempster), S. A. Jewett, W. F. Stewart. 

Chicago, 1868 
Luke Hitchcock, E. Q. Fuller, R. A. Blanchard, D. P. Kidder, James 
Baume, T. E. Eddy. 

Brooklyn, 1872 
Ministers — Luke Hitchcock, C. H. Fowler, Miner Raymond, S. A. W. 
Jewett, W. S. Harrington, J. H. More. 

Laymen — Grant Goodrich, B. F. Sheets. 

Baltimore, 1876 
Ministers— C. H. Fowler, Wm. Aug. Smith, S. A. Jewett, F. P. Cleve- 
land, Luke Hitchcock. 

Laymen— R. F. Queal, H. Green. 

Cincinnati, 1880. 
Ministers— C. H. Fowler, Luke Hitchcock, R. M. Hatfield, S. A. W. 
Jewett, N. H. Axtell. 

Laymen— O. H. Horton, E. P. Cook. 

Philadelphia, 1884 
Ministers— J. H. Vincent, C. H. Fowler, W. A. Spencer, R. M. Hatfield, 
F. P. Cleveland. 

Laymen— Orington Lunt, Otis Hardy. 

New York, 1888 
Ministers— J. H. Vincent, C. G. Trusdell, Lewis Curts, N. H. Axtell, W. 

A. Spencer, F. M. Bristol. 

Laymen — N. E. Lyman, O. A. Oliver (reserve in place of Miss Frances 
E. Willard). 

Omaha, 1892 
Ministers— F. M. Bristol, Lewis Curts, F. A. Hardin, J. M. Caldwell, H. 

B. Ridgaway, Wm. H. Burns. 

Laymen— Wm. Deering, B. F. Sheets. 

Cleveland, 1896 
Ministers — F. M. Bristol, Lewis Curts, H. G. Jackson, M. E. Cady, P. 
H. Swift, W. A. Spencer, J. W. Richards 
Laymen— L. B. Hobl^s, N. G. Van Sant. 


Chicago, 1900 

Ministers— P. H. Swift, C. J. Little, F. A. Hardin, Lewis Curtis, H. G. 
Jackson, D. M. Tompkins, W. H Holmes 

Laymen— William Deering, B. F. Sheets, O. H. Horton, G. W. Moss, E. 
S. Monroe, C M. Whipple, D. D. Thompson (reserve in place of N. G. 
Van Sant.) 

Los Angeles, 1904 

Ministers— F. H. Sheets, A. T. Horn, P. H. Swift, C. J. Little, W. O. 
Shepard, R. H. Pooley, J. P. Brushingham 

Laymen — D. C. Cook, J. P. Prindle, D. D. Thompson, Perley Lowe, 
Lucy Rider Meyer, W. A. Merrifield, B. F Sheets 

Baltimore, 1908 

Ministers- W A. Quayle, P. H. Swift, J. A. Matlack, C. J. Little, J. K. 
Shields, W. O. Shepard, R. H Pooley 

Laymen — W M. Shirnmin, H. W. Johnson, H. B. Williams, J. B. Hobbs, 
J. M. Kittleman, H. A. Clark, D. D. Thompson 

Minneapolis, 1912 

Ministers— W O. Shepard, T. P. Frost, C. S. Moore, James Rowe, 
C. M. Stuart, H. V. Holt, R. H. Pooley, R. C. Harker. 

Reserves— J. P. Brushingham, C. B. Mitchell, C. K. Carpenter 

Laymen — A C. Fassett, E. C. Page, G. W. Dixon, D. R. Anderson, 
E. H. Forkel, J. B. Mecham, Perley Lowe, Lucy Rider Meyer. 

Reserves — A. W. Harris, S. B. Jones, A. N. Anderson. 
Saratoga Springs, New York, 1916 

Ministers — C. B. Mitchell, John Thompson, Frank D. Sheets, T. P. 
Frost, L. F. W. Lesemann, H. F. Ward, C. K. Carpenter, J. P. Brushing- 

Reserves— T. K. Gale, W. H. Pierce, J. L. Walker. 

Laymen — Henry A. Hilmer, George W. Dixon, W. T. Jennings, C. J. 
Schmidt, J. W. Kline, Emma A. Robinson, Abram W. Harris, Perley 

Reserves — Frank Nay, D. R. Anderson, Jas. E. MacMurray. 


Ministers— John Thompson, W. R. Wedderspoon, J. S. Ladd Thomas, 
J M. Phelps, Charles M. Stuart, T. K. Gale, P. H. Swift, E. B. Crawford. 

Reserves— A. F. Clark, C. K. Carpenter, H. F. Ward. 

Laymen — Wm T. Jennings, George W. Dixon, Wm. Shirnmin, Henry 
S. Henschen, C. C. Darnell, Mr. Meacham, Perley Lowe, Thomas Holgate. 

Reserves — E. H. Forkel, Miss Emma Robinson, R. Clarence Brown. 


Ministers— John Thompson, W. R. Wedderspoon, Fred D. Stone, Jesse 
S. Dancey, Thomas K. Gale, Charles K. Carpenter, Charles M. Stuart, 
J. Hastie Odgers. 

Reserves— Harlow V. Holt, Charles D. Wilson, E. F. Tittle. 

Laymen— H. L. Guyer, George W. Dixon, James A. James, H. A. Clark, 
E. C. Page, Henry S. Henschen, Emma Robinson, James M. Kittlemann 

Reserves— Thomas F. Holgate, Irving Kelly, L. T. M. Slocum. 


Ministers— E. F. Tittle, John Thompson, F. C. Eiselen, Dan B. Brum- 
mitt, Warren N. Clark, Will L. Collin, Ralph Diffendorfer. 

Reserves— Fred D. Stone, L. L. Hammitt, Horace G. Smith. 

Laymen — J. R. Jackson, Geo. W. Dixon, Jacob Cantlin, Thomas F. 
Holgate, Mrs. Wm. H. Dangel, R. Clarence Brown, Raymond G. Kimbell. 



Reserves— James A. James, Samuel E. Bradt, Harry L. Guyer. 


Ministers— Ralph M. Pierce, John Thompson, Ernest F. Tittle, Horace 
G. Smith, Fred D. Stone. 

Reserves — F. C. Eiselen, Adam Loeppert, Frank Barnum. 

Laymen— J. R. Jackson, Mrs. Wm. H. Dangel, Mr. Jacob Cantlin, E. 
R. Alderson, Thomas F. Holgate. 

Reserves— Harry L. Guyer, Mrs. Winifred M. Timmons, James A. James. 


Ministers — Fred D. Stone, Aubrey S. Moore, Horace G. Smith, Ernest 
F. Tittle. 

Reserves— Ralph M. Pierce, Warren N. Clark, R. L. Semans, Thomas 
M. Pender, A. Turley Stephenson, Charles R. Goff. 

Laymen— Mrs. W. H. Dangel, A. C. Crawford, C. O. Loucks, Mrs. C. N. 

Reserves — James A. James, Thomas H. West, Mrs. James Oldshue, J. 
R. Jackson, Rockwell F. Clancy, Jacob Cantlin. 


Men born in Rock River or who came here in childhood. 

Barnum, Frank W. 
Blewfield, Floyd L. 
Blomberg, Alfred E. 
Bond, Ray Edwin 
Carpenter, C. K. 
Clark, A. F. 
Clay, Charles S. 
Crawford, E. B. 
Coleman, Lloyd O. 
Collis, Ralph H. 
Dahl, Birger 
Dickson, J. L. 
Dreger, Ralph M. 
Drees, J. Richard 
Fluck, John E. 
Funston, J. W. 
Gage, C. A. 
Graham, F. A. 
Grimes, Paul W. 
Gherrero, Armand 
Hagerty, Jas. H. 
Hall, Osman F. 
Haskins, A. S. 

Hewitt, C. J. 
Holloway, B. C. 
Holland, J. W. 
Holt, Harlow V. 
Hopkins, Wilbur J. 
Knapp, E. Y. 
Kleihauer, F. H. 
Koford, Ralph K. 
Lea, Henry 
Loeppert, Theodore 
Lamson, W. E. 
Lott, Lewis B. 
Loughlin, Chester W. 
Manny, W. L. 
Minion, Lester R. 
Mohns, Arthur W. 
Nesmith, C. T. 
Odgers, J. Hastie 
Pahn, Frank T. 
Pooley, R. H. 
Ream, Thos. E. 
Rich, Fred K. 
Peache, Alfred 

Satterfield, M. W. 
Schneider, J. M. 
Schellrase, C. F. 
Scott, Walter C. 
Sweet, Thomas V. E. 
Sheets, Fred H. 
Sheets, F. D. 
Spencer, Harry C. 
Stafford, J. P. Jr. 
Stone, Fred D. 
Synwolt, Royal T. 
Tavenner, Albion J. 
Tinker, A. M. 
Tope, Merrill C. 
Wheaton, James M. 
Whipple, W. L. 
Ward, Elias W. 
Will, Benjamin M. 
Wilson, Willias R. 
Wilson, Charles D. 
Youker, J. C. 



Mount Morris, Ogle County, Illinois, August 26, 1840 

That division of the Illinois Annual Conference recently set off 
by the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as the 
"Rock River Annual Conference" met at Mount Morris, Ogle County, Illi- 
nois, the place fixed by the Illinois Conference, and at the time appointed 
by the arrangements of Episcopal visitation and publishd in the Christian 
Advocate Journal. The Rev. Beverly Waugh, one of the Bishops of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church being present, opened the conference by read- 
ing a portion of the Holy Scripture, singing a hymn and presenting an 
ardent and fervent address to the throne of Divine Grace. The Bishop then 
addressed the conference at some length in regard to the interest and im- 
portance attached to the organization of a new conference, the great im- 
portance and necessity of keeping in this very important field an active, 
zealous and spiritual ministry, and the care necessary to employ such men 
only as God has called into the work, or who believe they are truly 
called of God to preach the gospel. 

The Bishop then called on Benjamin T. Kavanaugh to call over the 
list of the Elders and Deacons according to the minutes of the Illinois 
Conference for so much of the same as now live within the bounds of the 
"Rock River Conference." The following named Elders and Deacons ap- 
peared and took their seats as members of the said conference. 

Elders present: Washington Wilcox, Benjamin T. Kavanaugh, Salmon 
Stebbins, Jas. McKean, Soffronius H. Stocking, John Sinclair, Wesley Bat- 
chelor, Henry W. Reed, Julius Field, Stephen P. Keyes, John Clark, Leander 
S. Walker, Wellington Wrigley, Robt. Delap. 

Deacons present: Hiram Frick, Thos. M. Kirkpatrick, Francis A. 
Chenowith, Isaac I. Stewart, William Simpson, John Crummer, S'aml. Pills- 
bury, Elihu Springer. 

'Line conierence then went into the election of a secretary where on 
motion it voted that the election should be by nomination and election. Br. 
S. Stebbins then nominated B. T. Kavanaugh for secretary and he was 
elected and took his seat as such. 

On motion, conference fixed upon the hour of nine o'clock A. M. as 
the hour of meeting and one o'clock P. M. as the regular hour of adjourn- 
ment during its present session. 

On motion Bros. Weed, Clark, and G. G. Worthington were appointed 
a committee to superintend public worship during conference. 

On motion voted that there be a committee of conference stewards 
consisting of three and that they be chosen by nomination and election, 
whereupon, Bros. Stebbins, Reed, and Keyes were elected steward. 

On motion voted that there be a committee of four upon books and 
periodicals, two upon the Eastern and two upon the Western concern, 
whereupon Elihu Springer and W. Wilcox weie appointed the committee on 
the eastern, and I. I. Stewart and W. Wrigley on the part of the western 

On motion the committees on Books and Periodicals were instructed 
to furnish to each book concern a list of Post Offices within the conference. 
On motion a committee of five was appointed on education by the chair as 
follows: Julius Field. S. Stebbins. B. T. Kavanaugh, Wesley Bachelor, S. P. 


On motion Bro. S. Stebbins was appointed a committee of Sabbath 

On motion Bros. Clark, Stocking and Field were appointed a com- 
mittee to draft rules for the government of conference. 

On motion the Presiding Elders were appointed the Mission Commit- 

On motion conference adjourned. Prayer by J. Field. 

Thursday morning, August 27, 1840 

Conference met and was opened by prayer by the Rev. S. Stebbins, 
Bishop Waugh in the chair. The roll was called and the minutes of the 
proceedings of yesterday read and approved. Bros. H. Summers and R. 
Summery appear and took their seats as members of the conference. 

On motion the following resolution was adopted. Resolved, that a com- 
mittee of one be appointed to procure a suitable book for the conference, a 
small trunk to keep the books and papers of the conference in a supply 
of stationery for its accommodation at its present session. B. T. Kavanaugh, 
J. Sinclair, Henry W. Reed was appointed said committee. 

Bro. John Clark presented to the conference a black book suitable 
for the records of the conference and asked that they accept of it for 
that purpose. 

On motion of Bro. Stocking a vote of thanks was presented to Bro. 
Clark for the compliment. 

The secretary asked for the appointment of an assistant secretary; 
when, on motion of Bro. Clark, Henry W. Reed was elected assistant sec- 

The conference then took up the first question of the minutes. 

Who are admitted on trial into the traveling connexion? Bro. Clark 
of the Chicago District presented the names of Philander L. Richardson, 
Charles N. Wager, Henry Hubbard, Nathaniel Swift, Leonard F. Mothrop 
and Wm. B. Cooley who were severally approved and admitted. 

Bro. Clark also presented the name of Caleb Lamb for readmission, he 
having formerly been a member of the New Hampshire Conference, who 
was admitted. 

Bro. John Sinclair from the Ottawa Dist. presented the following names 
for admission: Sidney Wooded, Asa White, who were admitted. The name 
of Henry Garbit was presented but not admitted. Brother Caleb Morris, 
formerly a member of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, made a state- 
ment of his and desired to be readmitted into the traveling connexion. 

Bro. Stebbins moved that Bro. Morris be readmitted into the traveling 

Whereupon a vote being taken he was admitted. 

Bro. H. Summers from the Iowa Dist. presented for admission the 
name of Moses F. Shinn who was admitted. 

The name of Eli Truet formerly a traveling preacher was presented 
by Bro. Summers for readmission who was not readmitted. 

On motion of Bro. Clark, voted that the Presiding Elder of the District 
where Bro. Truet may reside may be at liberty to employ him in the 
traveling work. 

On motion of Bro. Sinclair, voted that the Presiding Elder where Bro. 
Gorbete may reside be at liberty to employ him in the traveling work. 

B. T. Kavanaugh from the Indian Mission district presented the name 
of Henry P. Chase (an Indian brother) recommended from the Chippewa 


mission for admission where upon motion of Bro. Springer the case was 
laid over until tomorrow. 

Bro. Fields from the Milwaukee Dist. presented the name of Brother 
David Worthington, Henry Whitehead and James Ash, who were severally 

On motion of Bro. Stebbins, William Kimbell and Leander S. Walker 
were added to the committee for superintending public worship during 

The conference then took up the examination of the character of 
Elders — When the name of Henry Summers was called, and while the case 
was pending, 

On motion of Bro. Clark it was voted that during the examination of 
character of Elders the conference set with closed doors. 

Bro. Stocking moved that the rule just adopted be suspended in the 
case of Father Morris so as to allow him to set in conference during exam- 
ination of character. 

Bro. Sinclair moved as a substitute that the rule be so suspended as 
to allow all the local preachers and those on trial to sit with us. When 
after some remarks on motion, the motion and substitute pending be laid 
on the table. 

The case of Bro. Summers being again resumed his character passed. 

The name of William H. Taylor and Joel Arrington were called and 

The name of Thos. W. Pope was called and some objections being made 
the case was laid over. 

The hour of adjournment having arrived conference adjourned. 

Prayer by Bro. Stocking. 

Friday morning, 9:00 o'clock, August 28. 

Conference met and was opened by reading the scripture, singing and 
prayer by Bro. Jno. Sinclair. Bishop Waugh in the chair. The roll 
was then called and the journal of yesterday's proceeding read and ap- 

Bro. Clark from the committee to draft rules for the government of 
the conference made its report; which was read and article by article was 
considered and adopted as follows to wit: 

Rules of Conference 

1. The President shall take the chair precisely at the hour to which 
the conference stood adjourned and cause the same to be opened by 
reading the scriptures, singing and prayer. 

2. The President shall decide all questions of order, subject to an ap- 
peal to the conference but in case of such appeal the question shall be 
taken without debate. 

3. Every question, appertaining to the regular business of conference 
or resolution moved and seconded shall be duly considered and put to 
vote unless otherwise disposed of according to order. 

4. Every member wishing to speak shall arise and respectfully address 
the chair. 

5. No member shall be interrupted when speaking except by the Presi- 
dent to call him to order when he departs from the subject under con- 
sideration or use disrespectful language or personal reflection, but any 
member may call the attention of the President to the subject when he 


deems the speaker out of order. And any member may explain if he thinks 
himself misrepresented. 

6. No person shall speak more than twice on the same question, nor 
more than 15 minutes at one time without leave of conference — nor shall 
any person speak more than once until every member wishing to speak 
shall have spoken. 

7. When any motion or resolution shall have passed it shall be in order 
for any member who voted in the majority to move a reconsideration. 

8. No member shall absent himself from the service of the conference 
or decline voting on any question put by the chair unless excused. 

9. No member shall be at liberty to prefer a matter of complaint 
against another on the examination of character, without first having 
conversed with him privately on the subject, unless he be absent from the 

10. A motion to adjourn shall always be in order and shall be taken 
without debate. 

J. Clark, J. Field, S. H. Stocking, Committee. 

Bro. Sinclair presented a recommendation from the Ottawa Mission 
for Bro. Wm. D. Gage formerly a traveling preacher in the Genessee Con- 
ference for leadmission into the traveling connexion. After some explana- 
tions from his representative the Bishop decided that the case was not 
regularly before the conference and could not be acted upon. 

Bro. Clark presented the case of Bro. Richard A. Blanchard from the 
Lima Station of the Genessee Conference for admission into the traveling 
connexion accompanied by letters from the P. Elder of the district and the 
preacher in charge of the Lima Station, which after being read the brother 
was received on trial. 

The conference then took up the 2nd question in the minutes: Who 
remain on trial? The committee of examination on probationers of one 
year standing made their report in connexion with the examination of 
character when the names of Samuel Spatu, Allen Huddlestun, George 
Copway, John Johnson, Wm. Vallett, Josiah W. Whipple, Ora H. Walker, 
and Jas. G. Whitford were severally called, their characters examined and 

On motion of Bro. Clark voted that a committee of three be appointed 
to receive the missionary and centenary money, whereupon Washington 
Wilcox, W. Wrigley and Sam. Pillsbury were appointed that committee. 

On motion of Bro. Clark the following resolution was adopted. 

Resolved: That W. Wrigley be a committee to publish the minutes of 
the Rock River Conference for its first session to be done on his own 
responsibility (pecuniary) and that the preachers interest themselves to 
dispose of them. 

The conference then took up the fourth question of the minutes: 

Who are the deacons? 

When the committee of examination for the third year made their re- 
port in connextion with the examination of characters, the names of Hiram 
W. Frink, Wm. Simpson, Thomas M. Kirkpatrick and Milton Bourne were 
severally called and their character examined and passed. The name of 
Wm. Gaddis being called Bro. Clark remarked that some objections were 
against the brother and on his motion the case was referred to a commit- 
tee of five, who were chosen by nomination and election and are Bros. 


Walker, Nason, Stocking, Keyes, and Lummery. The hour having arrived 
conference adjourned. 

Prayer by Bro. L. S. Walker. 

Saturday morning, 9:00 o'clock, August 29. 

Conference met and was opened by reading the scripture, singing and 
prayer by Bro. Summers, according to rule. Bishop Waugh in the chair. 
The Roll was called and Journal of yesterday read and approved. 

Bro. Clark from the committee for superintending public worship asked 
whether the committee has power to require those appointed to preach to 
do so when, Bro. Stebbins moved the adoption of the following resolutions. 

Resolved: that when any brother is by the proper committee ap- 
pointed to preach it shall be his duty to do so. 

S. Stebbins, Elihu Springer 

Which was adopted. 

The Stewards of the conference then called for the amounts taken up on 
each circuit and station as the "Conference Collection" and the amount of 
claims received and deficiencies of the preachers, which being over due. 

Bro. Summers moved that the case of Bro. Thos. W. Pope be referred 
to a committee of five, which prevailed and the committee chosen by nom- 
ination, and election when Bros. Keyes, Walker, Stewart, Nason and 
Stocking were appointed said committee. 

The Bishop announced to the conference that he had transferred to 
this conference from the Genessee conference Silas Bolles. 

The conference then took up the fifth question of the minutes: 

Who are elected and ordained Elders? 

When the committee of examination for the fourth year made their 
report in connexion with the examination of character, when the name of 
Jno. Crummer was called, his character examined and passed and he was 
elected to Elders orders. 

The name of Francis A. Chenowith being called and the committee in 
his case having reported the vote was taken to elect him to Elders orders 
and did not pass, a motion was then made to lay over his case for the 
present — lost, when after some remarks from Bros. Stebbins, Keyes, Clark 
and Field. On motion of Bro. Stocking the vote by which the conference 
refused to lay over the case was reconsidered and the case then laid over. 

The names of Sam'l. Pillsbury, Isaac I. Stewart and Elihu Springer were 
severally called, the report of the committees heard, their characters exam- 
ined and passed and each elected to Elders Orders. 

Bro. Chenowith having appeared in the conference his case was taken 
up and after some remarks the vote on his election to Elders Orders was 
taken, when he was not elected. His character by a vote of the conference 
passed unanimously and on motion of Bro. Field at Bro. Chenowith's re- 
quest he was granted a location. 

The conference then took up the third question in the minutes: Who 
are admitted into full connexion? When the names of Jesse L. Bennett, 
Nathan Jewett, Jno. Hodges, Jonathan M. Snow, Rollin Brown, Henry J. 
Brace, Moses McMurtry, David King, Jesse Halsted, Joseph L. Kirkpatrick 
and Silas Bolles being called and they each being brought up before the 
conference in the usual order. The Bishop addressed the class on the solem- 
nity and importance of the step they were about to take, and then pro- 
ceeded to ask the disciplinary questions printed out for the occasion, re- 
marking upon and enforcing the spirit and import of the solemn questions 
propounded. The questions being answered, Bro. Bennett retired and was 


admitted, and elected to Deacons orders. Bro. Nathan Jewett retired, the 
committee in his case was heard, his character examined and he was ad- 
mitted and elected. 

Bro. John Hodges retired, the committee in his case heard his character 
examined, and while his case was pending, on motion of Bro. Clark, voted 
that when conference adjourn it adjourn to meet at half past two o'clock. 

Before a decision in the case of Bro. Hodges was obtained the hour 
having arrived conference adjourned to meet at half past two o'clock. 

Prayer by Bro. Kimble. 

Saturday 2:30 o'clock p. m. 

Conference met pursuant to adjournment and was opened by prayer 
according to rule by Bro. Wrigley— Bishop Waugh in the chair. The Roll 
was called, the journal read corrected and approved. 

The case of Bro. Hodges which was pending at the time conference ad- 
journed was taken up and he was admitted and elected to Deacons orders. 

The name of Jonathan M. Snow was called and after having heard the 
committee and his representative he was admitted and elected to Deacons 

Bro. Rollin Brown's case was called, the committee and his representa- 
tive were heard and he was admitted and elected to Deacons orders. 

Bro. Henry J. Brace's name was called — the committee and his repre- 
sentative were heard when he was admitted and elected. 

Bro. Moses McMur try's name was called, the committee and represen- 
tative were heard and he was admitted and elected. 

Bro. Jesse Halsted's case was then called, the committee and his re- 
presentative were heard when he was admitted and he having traveled two 
years and upward as a deacon he was elected to Elders Orders. 

The name of Bro. David King was called, the committee and represen- 
tative heard and he was received and elected to Deacons orders. 

The name of Joseph L. Kirkpatrick was called. The committee and his 
representative heard when he was received and elected to Elders orders, 
he having previously traveled two whole years as a Deacon. 

The name of Silas Bolles was called. The committee was heard, a 
certificate from the Rev. Manby Looker the presiding Elder of his district 
and two of the Trustees of the Lima Seminary of Genessee Conference heard, 
and after some statements made by Bro. Clark he was admitted and elec- 
ted to Deacons orders. 

The Bishop then asked if there were any recommendations for election 
to Deacons orders from the Local preachers. When Bro. Clark from the 
Chicago District presented the recommendations of the following named 
persons: John Messmore, Marshall Sherman and Levi Lee which were 
severally read and they were severally elected to Deacons orders. 

Bro. Sinclair from the Ottawa District presented recommendations 
for Royal Bullard and Daniel Newton which were made and they were 
each elected to Deacons orders. 

Bro. Summers from the Iowa District presented the recommendation 
of Mikajah Ruder which was read and he was elected to Deacons orders. 
The Bishop then called for recommendations for Elders orders for Local 
Preachers and was answered from all the districts that there was none. 

On motion of Bro. Clark voted that a committee of five be appointed 
to draft a constitution and make arrangements for a missionary meeting 
on Monday afternoon. The committee was chosen by nomination and elec- 


tion and H. W. Reed, J. Clark, B. T. Kavanaugh, J. Sinclair and S. P. Keyes 
were appointed said committee. 

Bro. Wrigley presented for adoption the following resolution: 
Resolved: that it is the sense of this conference that unordained 
preachers, traveling or local, in the Methodist Episcopal Church should not 
be permitted to solemnize the rites of Matrimony, which they further be- 
lieve is contrary to the laws of Illinois. 

W. Wrigley, H. W. Reed 

On motion of Bro. Clark the resolution was laid on the table. 

The conference then adjourned. 

Prayer by Bro. Springer. 

Monday morning, Aug. 31, 1840 

Conference met and was opened by reading the scriptures, singing, 
and prayer by Bro. Reed according to rule, Bishop Waugh in the chair. 

The Roll was called and the journal of Saturday afternoon read and 

Bro. S. H. Stocking from the committee in the case of Bro. W. Gaddis 
made the following report: "The committee appointed to enquire into the 
case of Bro. Gaddis beg leave to report that after a careful examination 
of all the written as well verbal communication that could be obtained on 
the subject, we have not found sufficient evidence against his moral charac- 
ter to condemn him, but are of the opinion that his case requires a more 
thorough investigation than can here be given in his case, and would there- 
fore recommend that it be referred back to the Presiding Elder of the 
Chicago District for such investigation." — Respectfully submitted — S. H. 
Stocking, S. P. Keyes, secretary. 

Bro. Gaddis not being present on motion his case was then laid on 
the table. 

The conference then again took up the first question in the minutes: 
Who are admitted on trial? When Bro. Weed of the Galena District be- 
ing sick and absent, Bro. Reed read recommendations from said district 
for the following named persons: Alpia M. Early, Enos P. Wood, and 
Chester Campbell who were severally admitted. A recommendation for Wm. 
H. Barnes was read and upon voting was not received. 

Bro. Summers asked leave of absence for Bro. Moses McMurtry for the 
balance of the session and which was granted. 

On motion voted, that the P. Elder where Bro. W. H. Barnes resides 
have liberty to employ him in the traveling work. 

Bro. Reed also read a recommendation from the same District, Galena, 
for Philo Judson for admission on trial, who was admitted. 

The case of Bro. H. P. Chase was then called up and he was admitted. 

The Stewards took up some time in calling for conference collections 
for places not reported 

On motion of J. Clark, voted that the committee on centenary funds 
be instructed to pay over to the Stewards of the conference so much of 
said fund as is given for the support of the superannuated preacher for a 

On motion the following resolutions were adopted: 

Resolved: That any money received in aid of the centenary fund 
shall be appropriated to such objects as the District shall have directed. 

On motion of J. Clark the following resolution was adopted. 

Resolved — that it be the duty of each preacher in charge to raise a 


conference collection in each society in his charge between the 3rd and 4th 
Quarterly Meeting for the conference claimants. 

On motion of J. Clark th following resolution was adopted. 

Resolved: That it be the duty of each preacher in charge to see that 
a missionary discourse is delivered in each congregation between the 2nd 
and 3rd Quarterly meeting in his charge, and that a collection be made in 
aid of cause of Mission.. 

J. Clark, J. Field 

On motion of Bro. Fields the following Resolution was adopted: 

In view of the great deficiencies within our bonds in the support of 
the ministry, and believing that the deficiency in most cases is owing to 
the absence of a uniform and efficient system of finance: 

Resolved, therefore that we the members of the Rock River Conference 
do affectionately recommend to the stewards of each circuit and station 
that they will at the earliest date practicable of each conference year, as- 
certain the claims of those ministers who are stationed among them, ana 
proportion the sum necessary to be raised in each class or congregation to 
meet the expenditure, and that it be strongly recommended in every place 
to raise if practicable by subscription or otherwise at an early date the 
full amount payable in quarterly installments. J. Field, J. Clark. 

The case of Bro. Gaddis was then called up on motion of Bro. Clark 
and the report of the committee again read. 

Br. Wrigley moved that the report of the committee be amended by 
striking out the word "sufficient" in the 6th line, and also all after the 
word "his" in the 7th line. 

While the above motion was pending, on motion of Bro. Wrigley, the 
further proceedings in the case was dismissed. 

The character of Bro. Gaddis was then before the conference where his 
representative and the committee was then heard and his character passed. 

The name of Barton H. Cartwright, a Deacon of one years standing 
was called, the committee in his case was heard as well as P. Elder and his 
character passed. 

The 3rd question in the minutes was then resumed, and the name 
of Jas. F. Flanders was called, who was at his own request discontinued. 

On motion of Bro. Stebbins, Bro. Flanders was authorized to draw three 
quarters of his mission appropriations for last year. 

The name of Jesse Herbert was called and discontinued at his own 

On motion of Bro. Wrigley, Br. John Crummer was added to the com. 
to prepare the minutes for publication. 

The conference went into the examination of the character of Elders 
when the characters of Bros. Weed, Wilcox, Reed, and G. G. Worthington 
were severally passed and, in the case of Bro. Worthington, the President 
of the conference was requested to admonish him on the subject of Long 

The name of B. T. Kavanaugh being called, the Bishop called for a 
statement of the condition of the affairs upon the upper Mississippi Ind- 
ian District. In response to which the Superintendant read a copy of a paper 
setting forth the relation the Sioux Mission stood in to the government in 
regard to certain claims and while making other statements for want of 
time to finish he gave way to Bro. Clark who moved for adoption of the 
following resolution. Resolved that the compositions in the hand of the com- 
mittee of examination be retained by the secretary until the writer of 


each shall have attained to Elders Orders. Bro. Reed moved to amend the 
resolution by adding thereto the words "and that the secretary be allowed 
to publish such of them as he may deem proper" which was admitted by 
the mover, when the resolution being put then amended and was lost. 
The hour having arrived conference adjourned with prayer by Bro. 

Tuesday morning, 9:00 o'clock, Sept. 1st, 1840 

Conference met and was opened by reading the scriptures, singing and 
prayer by Bro. Keyes, according to rule, Bishop Waugh in the chair. 

The roll of the conference was called, and the journal read and ap- 

Bro. Jno. P. Wright of the Book Concern of Cincinnatti made some 
remarks on the business of the Book Agency. 

Bro. J. Clark asked leave of absence for Bro. Stocking to attend the 
funeral of a deceased brother. He also asked leave for Bro. Hodges who 
were both granted. 

Bro. Stocking presented a circular from the New York State Temper- 
ance Society which was read and on motion of Bro. Clark the following 
resolution was adopted: (See Report) 

Bro. Clark presented and read a communication from the Trustees of 
the Rock River Seminary at Mt. Morris, 111. which was on motion referred 
to the committee on education. 

Bro. Keyes asked to be released from serving on the committee on the 
case of Bro. Pope which was not granted. 

Bro. Clark moved to release Bro. Stocking from the committee on the 
case of Bro. Pope and on motion of Bro. Keyes, Bro. Wrigley was appointed 
in his place. 

B. T. Kavanaugh then finished his statement in regard to the diffi- 
culties in the way of success in the mission of the Indian Mis'n. District 
at the close of which — 

Bro. Pope also made some corroberating remarks on the same subject 
and B. T. Kavanaugh retired. 

The examination of Elders being the business before the conference, 
the name of Bro. Fields was called, a statement of the condition of his 
District given, and his character passed. The names of Bro. S. P. Keyes, S. 
Stebbins, and Jas. McKean were severally called and character passed. 

Bro. Clark's name was called, an account of his District given and 
character passed. 

The names of S. H. Stocking, J. Nason, L. S. Walker, Austin F. Rogers 
and Wm. Kimball were severally called and characters passed. 

The name of J. Sinclair was called, and account of his District given and 
his character passed. 

The name of W. Wrigley was called and passed. 

Bro. S. Stebbins asked leave of absence for himself and Bro. Keyes as 
the steward of conference to finish the business which was granted. 

The names of Rufus Lummery and Wesley Bachelor were called and 
their character passed. 

The name of Alfred Brunson was called and — 

On motion of W. Wrigley his case was laid over, till the case of 
Bro. Pope be disposed of — 

The name of Robert Delap was called and some statements were made 
by him when — 


On motion of Bro. Pillsbury his relation as a superannated preacher 
was continued. 

On motion of Bro. Field the following resolution was offered and after 
some remarks withdrawn. 

On motion of Bro. Clark the case of Bro. T. W. Pope was called up and 
the committee in his case discharged— and the conference heard the state- 
ments of the Superintendent of the Mission and a response made to the 
same by Bro. Pope when Bro. Pope retired and his character passed. 

The stewards then presented their report and a surplus of $1,127.00 
when, on motion the report was adopted and the money distributed. 

On motion of Bro. Clark the surplus in the hands of the Stewards was 
given to Bro. T. W. Pope. 

On motion of Bro. Clark, voted that on tomorrow the conference meet 
at 8 o'clock A. M. 

The hour having arrived the conference adjourned. Prayer by Br. 

Wednesday morning, 8:00 o'clock, Sept. 2, 1840. 

Conference met and opened by prayer by Bro. Kirkpatrick according 
to rule, Bishop Waugh in the chair. 

The roll of conference was called and the journal read and approved. 

The case of Bro. Brunson was called up and on motion of Bro. Stebbins 
voted that a committee of five be appointed to investigate the administra- 
tion of Br. Brunson on the Indian Mission District while Superintendent of 
the same and report to the next conference. The following persons were 
nominated and elected that committee: J. Clark, S. Stebbins, J. Field, W. 
Wrigley and S. H. Stocking. 

Bro. Reed offered for adoption the following resolution: 

Resolved that should Rufus Spaulding who is now a member of the 
New England conference signify to said conference at its next session a 
wish to be transferred to the Rock River Conference that the Bishop pre- 
siding at that time be respectfully requested to grant Bro. Spaulding's' re- 
quest. H. W. Reed, W. Wrigley 

Bro. Springer moved an amendment to the resolution which was not 
adopted, and the vote being taken the resolution was lost. 

The Bishop announced the following as the committees of examination 
for probationers in the conference for the next year. 

1st Year, Julius Field, Chairman, H. W. Reed and S. H. Stocking 

2nd year, B. T. Kavanaugh, Chairman. W. Wrigley and Washington 

3rd year, S. Stebbins, chairman, S. P. Keyes and Wesley Bachelor. 

4th year, J. Clark, Chairman, B. Weed and Henry Summers. 

Bro. Wrigley from the committee on Centenary and Missionary Funds 
made a report which was read and adopted. 

Bro. Wrigley asked what should be done with money received for edu- 
cation when on motion voted that the education funds be paid to the 
financial agent of the Rock River Seminary. 

On motion voted that the Missionary Money be paid over to the Treas- 
urer of the Missionary Society of the Conference. 

On motion of J. Clark the following resolution was adopted. 

Resolved that that hereafter in the re-admission of located Ministers 
into this conference a recommendation in all cases will be required from 
the Quarterly Meeting Conference. 


Resolved that this conference secure their pledge to use their utmost 
efforts to promote the important interests of our Book Concern. 

The Bishop presented (just before the 1st resolution) a report from 
the Book Agents at New York of an exhibit of the business of the concern. 

On motion of Bro. Clark the following Resolution was adopted: 

Resolved, that it be the duty of each preacher in charge to see that a 
missionary discourse is delivered in each congregation and collection made 
between the 2nd and 3rd Quarterly society of each year. J. Clark, J. Field. 

Bro. Stebbins from committee on Sunday Schools made a report which 
was adopted. 

Bro. Wrigley offered the following resolution which was adopted. 

Resolved: that it is the sense of this conference that unordained prea- 
chers local or traveling within the bound of this conference should not 
solemnize the rites of matrimony by virtue of his license as a preacher; it 
being contrary to the institution of the M. E. Church. W. Wrigley, W. Reed, 

On motion liberty was granted to the Trustees of the Rock River Con- 
ference Seminary to make in person any communication they have to 

Bro. Field from the committee on education made a report which 
was read — and on motion laid on the table for the present. 

On motion of Bro. Sinclair the following resolution was adopted. That 
having felt as well as seen the great necessity of parsonages in a young 
and growing conference, that the traveling preacher be required to make 
exertion to get land and build Parsonages. T. Kirkpatrick, Jas. McKean. 

On motion of Bro. Clark the following resolution was adopted : Resolved 
that the Secretary of the conference be instructed to order from New 
York 2000 copies of the Methodist Almanac for the benefit of our people, 
for the Meridian of Galena, the same to be ordered to the seat of our 
next conference. 

The conference then went into election of the place for holding the 
next session of the conference when the following places were put in nom- 
ination: Chicago, Joliet, Rockford, South Port, and Plattville, Wis. 

On motion voted that the election be by ballot and that a plurality of 
votes be necessary to an election. 

When the vote being taken Plattville received 27 votes, Joliet 4, Chi- 
cago 5, Rockford 1, South Port 1, Plattville having received a majority 
of votes, was elected as the site of the next conference and the Bishop 
announced the 25th of August next as the time. 

On motion of Bro. Stebbins voted that the journal and papers of the 
conference be put into the hands of W. Wrigley for the purpose of mak- 
ing extracts from the same from the minutes and that he be responsible 
for and return the same to the seat of the next conference. 

On motion of Bro. Springer voted that the committee on P. Offices 
be and are hereby released from further service — and that each preacher 
in charge be required as soon as convenient to report the P. Offices in 
his charge to the P. E. of the Dist. and he to the agent of the book concern 
at New York. 

The Bishop commended to the favorable consideration of the conference 
the American Bible Society. When on motion of Bro. Clark the following 
resolution was adopted to be furnished the Bible Society. 

Resolved that we have listened with pleasure to the statements made by 
the Bishop in relation to the American Bible Society and that we cordially 


concur' in the sentiments advanced and that we pledge our hearty cooper - 
tion in furthering its objects. J. Clark, W. Wrigley. 

Resolved also that it is the sense of this conference that a minister 
would be a more successful agent to promote the objects of the A. B. 
Society than a layman. J. Clark, W. Wrigley. 

One of the Trustees of the Rock River Seminary appeared; Sam'l M. 
Hitt Esq. and addressed the conference on the subject of the Finance of 
the Rock River Seminary. 

A communication from C. Bass Artz was presented and read on the 
same subject; while the subject was pending, on motion, conference took a 
recess of one hour. Conference convened and proceeded to business at the 
expiration of recess. 

Bro. Stocking moved that each preacher be requested to preach a ser- 
mon, or deliver a sermon or discourse on the subject of temperance at 
every appointment, which was adopted. 

On motion of Bro. Stebbins the report of the committee on education 
was taken up and the first, third, fourth and fifth were adopted and the 
second laid on the table. 

On motion the following resolutions were adopted: Resolved that the 
Presiding Elder of Mt. Morris District act as financial agent to the Board 
of Trustees of the Seminary. On motion the preamble of the report was 
then adopted. 

On motion conference went into the election of Trustees, and on mo- 
tion a committee of one was appointed to nominate 14 trustees and Bro. 
Field was elected that committee. Br. Clark moved that compositions be 
put into the hands of the examining committee to be retained till the 
writers advanced to Elders Orders, lost. 

Bro. Stebbins moved that the compositions in the hands of the 
Society be retained with the conference papers, lost. 

On motion said compositions were returned to their several writers. 

On motion of Bro. Sinclair the 25th of Oct. next was set apart as a day 
of fasting and prayer for the prosperity of Zyon. 

Bro. Field, the committee to nominate Trustees made a report of the 
following names for the said office for the Rock River Seminary: J. Clark 
B. Weed, J. Sinclair, Anthony Pitzer, Thos. Ford, S. M. Hitt, L. S. Walker, 
N. Livingley, C. B. Arts, J. J. Beatty, Maj. J. Roundine, J. B. Crist, Jas. 

The various names were taken up and severally elected in the order 
in which they stand above. 

Bro. Stebbins moved that the name of the conference be added to that 
of the Seminary so as to be called the 'Rock River Conference Seminary'. 

Bro. Kyes moved that the resolution be laid on the table, lost. 

The vote then being taken on the motion it was lost. 

Bro. Wrigley moved the adoption of the following resolution. 

Resolved that the Conference recommend to the Trustees of the Rock 
River Seminary to execute blank notes and place the same in the hands 
of the conference members to be presented to procure the amount as a 
loan to the institution at 6% interest. 

Bro. Clark moved that the Board of Trustees be instructed to apply 
to the next Legislature for a charter for the Institution. Carried. 

On motion of Bro. Clark the Roll of the conference was called and those 
choosing to do so were invited to subscribe each for one hundred dollar 
scholarship — when the following named Brethren gave their names for 


that object. Jno. Clark, John Crummer, Jas. McKean, John Hewitt, Rufus 
Lummery, Saml. Pillsbury, H. W. Reed, Thos. M. Kirkpatrick, Henry Sum- 
mers, Isaac Stewart, Jonathan M. Snow, Wellington Wrigley, Leander S. 
Walker, S. Bolles, Henry Brace, Rollin Brown, Jas. Mitchel, Natt. Swift, 
Enos P. Wood, Wm. Vallett, Josias W. Whipple, B. A. Walker, F. A. Chino- 
with, Wm. Simpson, Wm. Kimble. 

On motion of Bro. Field the following resolution was adopted. 

Resolved that we express our gratitude to the people of Mt. Morris and 
its vicinity for their kind and liberal manner in which they have enter- 
tained the members of the conference during their present session which 
was taken by a rising vote. J. Field, S. Stebbins. 

On motion of Bro. Clark that Bro. Wrigley be instructed to make an 
abstract of the appointments and such resolutions as are of a general 
nature for publication in the Christian Advocate Journal and P. C. Ad- 

The journals were then read up and approved and the conference re- 
paired to the camp ground to hold public worship and hear the appoint- 
ments of the preachers read out. When after singing and prayer by 
Bishop Waugh, a short address was delivered to the conference by the 
Bishop, previous to the reading out the appointments. The appointments 
were then read out and conference adjourned to meet again at Platteville, 
Grant Co., W. Terry, August 25, 1841. 

Benj. T. Kavanaugh, Secy. 
Henry W. Reed, Asst. D. 


CHICAGO DISTRICT: J. T. Mitchell, P. E.— Chicago, H. Crews; Lake, 
William Gaddis; Wheeling, J. Nason; Elgin, S. Bolles; Crystalville, O. A. 
Walker; Roscoe and Belvidere, M. Bourne; Rockford, S. H. Stocking; Syca- 
more, L. S. Walker, N. Swift; Dupage, William Kimball; Naperville, C. 

OTTAWA DISTRICT: J. Sinclair, P. E.— Ottawa, J. L. Bennett; Milford, 
E. Springer; Wilmington, R. Lummery; Juliet, W. Weigley; Lockport, W. 
Batchellor; Indian Creek, Asa White; Princeton, J. M. Snow, Bristol, H. 

MT. MORRIS DISTRICT: J. Clark, P. E.— Buffalo Grove, A. McMurtry, 
R. A. Blanchard; Dixon, supplied; Portland, William Vallette; Stevenson, C. 
N. Wager; Savannah, P. Judson; Galena, J. W. Whipple; Apple River, E. 
P. Wood; Freeport, S. Pillsbury, R. Brown; T. S. Hitt, agent for Rock 
River Seminary. 

BURLINGTON DISTRICT: H. Summers, P. E.— Burlington, I. I. 
Stewart; Mt. Pleasant, T. M. Kirkpatrick; Richland, M. F. Shinn; Fox 
River Mission, N. Smith; Philadelphia, J. Arrington; Fort Madison, M. H. 
McMurtry, W. B. Cooley; Bloomington, N. Jewett; Crawfordsville, J. L. 

IOWA DISTRICT: B. Weed, P. E.— Iowa, G. G. Worthington; Rock- 
ingham, C. Campbell; Comanche, B. H. Cartwright; Marion, J. Hodges; 
Bellevue, P. S. Richardson; Clarksville, H. Hubbard; Dubuque, W. Wilcox. 

INDIAN MISSION DISTRICT: B. T. Kavanaugh, Superintendent.— 
St. Peter's and Sioux Mission, D. King; Chippewa Mission, H. J. Brace, 


George Copway, H. P. Chase, A. Huddleson, J. Johnson; Sandy Lake, S. 

PLATTVILLE DISTRICT: H. W. Reed, P. E.— Plattville, supplied; 
Lancaster and Prairie du Chien, W. Simpson, A. M. Early; Mineral Point 
and Wyota, J. G. Whitford; Monroe, J. Ash; Madison, supplied; Fort 
Winnebago, S. P. Keyes; Fon du Lac, J. Halsted; Green Bay, supplied; 
Oneida Mission, H. R. Coleman. 

MILWAUKEE DISTRICT: Julius Field, P. E.— Milwaukee, J. Crum- 
mer; Racine, L. F. Molthrop; Root River, H. Whitehead; Southport Mis- 
sion, S. Stebbins; Burlington and Rochester, D. Worthington; Troy, J. 
McKean; Watertown, Sidney Wood; Summit, H. W. Frink; A. F. Rogers, 
transferred to Illinois Conference. 


The committee on Education having considered the communication 
from the proprietors of the "Northwestern Female College, and North- 
western University Preparatory", and having had a full and free inter- 
change of views with one of said proprietors, recommend the adoption of 
the following resolutions: 

1. WHEREAS, Messrs. Jones agree to expunge from their circular the 
terms "Northwestern University" as limiting the term "Preparatory," and 
to circulate no more of the circulars now in print; and further agree to 
publish a card in the N. W. C. Advocate to correct any wrong impression 
made on the public mind on that subject: Therefore, 

RESOLVED, That we grant them their request, and that the follow- 
ing persons be appointed a committee of visitors: W. F. Stewart, H. Crews, 
Thos. Williams, T. North and J. F. Chaffee. 

The committee recommend that the request of the trustees of the 
Northwestern Female College be granted so far as to appoint W. McKaig, 
H. Whipple, S. G. Lathrop and W. F. Stewart a Visiting Committee to said 
college. W. B. Slaughter, Secretary. P. Judson, Chairman. 


Simpson, Mathew, 1860-62 

Thompson, 1869. 

Harris, William L., elected in 1872. As early as can be determined was a resi- 

sident of Chicago until 1878. 
Merrill, Stephen M., elected 1872. Resident of Chicago from 1878 to 1904 

when he voluntarily retired. 
McDowell, William Fraser, elected. Resident of Chicago 1904-1916. 
Nicholson, Thomas, elected 1916. Resident of Chicago 1916-1924. 
Hughes, Edwin Holt, elected 1908. Resident of Chicago 1924-1932. 
Waldorf, Ernest Lynn, elected 1920. Resident of Chicago 1932- 


John H. Vincent William A. Quayle Charles B. Mitchell. 

Charles H. Fowler Robert Mclntyre William O. Shepherd 

Frank M. Bristol 


Luke Hitchcock Lewis Curts Fred Stone. 



Galena, October, 1859 
Is in a flourishing state. Its buildings, located on grounds tastefully 
adorned, are everyway attractive, and by their internal arrangement the 
health and comfort of the pupils are promoted. The college has the pleasing 
aspect of a well ordered christian home. The fine course of study pursued 
here has the facilities of apparatus, library and cabinet, and, in proportion 
to the number of students, the board of instruction is large and is regard- 
ed able by the trustees and other competent judges. Their classes, examined 
in Geometry, Chemistry and Mental Science, gave proof of careful discipline. 
The trustees have exhibited foresight and energy in organizing a "Ladies' 
Educational Aid Fund," to assist indigent students. A loftier charity is 
scarcely possible than the appropriation of means to that object. This Con- 
ference is requested to fill vacancies in the board of trustees, as provided 
by the charter, and to appoint the preachers in charge of Wabash Avenue, 
Waukegan and Evanston, and the Presiding Elder of Chicago District as 
a Visiting Committee for the ensuing year, and thus express its interest and 
confidence in the Female College. 

Chicago, October, 1860 
A communication has been placed in our hands, from the Visiting Com- 
mittee, which represents this institution as being in a very flourishing con- 
dition. Its halls are filled with students, many of whom have been happily 
converted to God during the past year. The Visiting Committee highly 
commends the literary standing of this school, and we would recommend 
it to the sympathy and confidence of the brethren. The following persons 
are named in the communication as Trustees, and it is desired that this 
body elect them to that office, viz: J. W. Agard and E. M. Boring. We re- 
commend as Visiting Committee to this institution the preachers in charge 
of Clark Street, Waukegan and Evanston, and the Presiding Elder of Chi- 
cago District. 


By The Reverend O. F. Mattison 

The founding of Rock River Seminary was an adventure of faith. 
This took place at Mount Morris, Ogle County, Illinois, in the year 1840 
when the building was first opened for the purpose for which it was in- 
tended. The Maryland Colony, located a few miles west of the Rock River, 
had felt the need of an educational institution to which it could send its 
young people, and as early as 1838 was talking of establishing such an In- 
stitution. The desire finally grew into a purpose and Rev. Thomas Hitt was 
appointed as a committee to go to the Illinois Conference, holding its ses- 
sion in Jacksonville, Illinois, and present the case. A committee of five 
ministers was appointed by the Conference to select a location and pro- 
ceed to plan for the putting up of a suitable building. This committee con- 
sisted of the following: John Clark, Thomas Hitt, Leander S. Walker and 
P. R. Borein and W. S. Crassey. This committee had a meeting at the log 
cabin of Rev. John Clark on the Fox River in March, 1839. Several places 
were suggested as suitable for the location of the building, as Joliet, St. 
Charles, Geneva, Elgin, Rockford, Roscoe, Kishwaukie, and the Maryland 
Colony. Offers were made by Roscoe, Kishwaukie, and the Maryland 
Colony. The offer of the latter was accepted. It consisted of a subscrip- 
tion of $8,000, indorsed by three of the principal men of the colony, and 


three hundred and twenty acres of land which they bound themselves to 
make over to the Trustees when it came into market. 

The place selected was an elevated spot on the open prairie, affording 
a fine outlook in every direction for many miles around. The contract was 
given to Mr. James B. McCoy, and the hut that he erected for the accom- 
modation of his workmen was the first structure in the present town of 
Mt. Morris. The building was to be seventy-five feet long by thirty-six 
feet in width and with the basement was to be three stories high. It was 
built of lime-stone obtained in the vicinity of Pine Creek, and was stuc- 
coed with plaster, white in color, It stood with its two sides facing the 
rising and setting sun, and could be seen for a long distance away. The 
building came to be called "Old Sandstone", as a pet name by its friends. 
The corner stone for the building was laid July 4th, 1839. And was a 
great occasion, bringing together from the sparsely settled country five 
hundred people, some of them coming from as far as forty miles. Rev. 
Thomas Hitt laid the corner stone and Rev. Mr. Irvine and Mr. S. N. Sam- 
ple, a lawyer, made suitable addresses. It was decided to call the new 
structure Rock River Seminary, as the noble Rock River was not far away. 
It was known by this name until it passed out from the control of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. A board of Trustees was appointed consisting 
of Rev. John Clark, president, Rev. Mr. Wood, vice-president, S. M. Bow- 
man, Secretary, Grant Goodrich, Geo. D. M. Wilcoxon, and James John- 
son. Their first meeting was held November 18th, 1839. Rev. Thomas Hitt 
was appointed agent for the Seminary, and was authorized to raise funds 
by the sale of scholarships, at the following rates: 1 year $25, 2 years, $50; 4 
years $100; and perpetual, $500. In the fall of the following year, viz. 1840 
the building was opened for students. It was during the summer of this 
year that the village of Mt. Morris was platted and named after Bishop 
Morris of the Methodist Church. Also the Rock River Conference was or- 
ganized in connection with a campmeeting on Pine Creek on the farm of 
Rev. Thomas Hitt. This occurred August 26th 1840. The Conference adop- 
ted the Seminary as its own and twenty-five of its members subscribed for 
one hundred dollar scholarships, a very generous act considering the times 
and the limited pay of a preacher. The conference visited the seminary 
in a body. At this time there was no Methodist institution of learning in 
Illinois north of McKendree College, located at Lebanon, St. Clair Co. 
twenty two miles from St. Louis. Mo. 

Before the opening of the Seminary, Professor J. N. Waggoner, of New 
York State, was secured as Principal. He came on during the summer be- 
fore the building was ready for use and for several months taught a school 
in a log building a little way west of the site of Mt. Morris. This was really 
the beginning of the Rock River Seminary, an institution which for many 
years was a powerful educational influence throughout northern Illinois and 
territory contiguous thereto. It was the only place for years in all the 
northern part of the State where the higher branches of learning were 
taught. Prominent among the laymen who attended school at the Semin- 
ary, Gen. John A. Rowlins, who became Gen. Grant's Chief of Staff, dur- 
ing the Civil War, and under whose fiery eloquence, Gen. Grant first felt 
it his duty to offer his services to the Government. Gen. Smith D. At- 
kins, long an Editor of a paper in Freeport, Gen. B. P. Sheets, prominent 
also as State Senator in Illinois Legislature, Shelby M. Cullom, twice 
Governor of the State of Illinois, and long a Senator representing his State 
at Washington, Gen. Wm. H. Wallace, and scores of lesser lights who yet 


served society, in Church and State, with marked acceptance. We might 
mention before closing the names of the Honorable John and Robert R. 
Hitt and Judges John Hand and James H. Cartwright, who became chief 
justices in the Supreme Bench of the State of Illinois. Bishop Fowler, of 
the Methodist Church, was at one time a student at the Sminary. 

Eventually the need for another building was felt, and so the authori- 
ties began the four story building, which is still standing, (1940). This 
building like the first is of lime stone, and was located near the first 
one and at right angles to it. In the erection of these buildings provision 
was made for the use of a part, first of the old and then of the new 
structure, as a place of worship for the Methodist people of Mt. Morris. 
This arrangement prevailed for quite a number of years, when the Metho- 
dist Society built a house of worship a block or two from the campus. The 
new Seminary building was begun in 1851 and was cornpleted in 1853. 
Some years ago, the old Seminary building was torn down to make way 
for a more modern structure. 

The Seminary like some other Conference institutions had its serious 
financial embarrassments. Finally after some heroic struggles, it was com- 
pelled for lack of funds to close its doors. This was in 1878, after nearly 
forty years of faithful and successful work. The property was sold to the 
Honorable R. R. Hitt. Later he sold it to members of the Brethren Church 
for $6000.00 who opened it in 1885 under the name of the Mt. Morris Col- 
lege. With varied experiences the school continued to function as a college 
until the summer of 1932, when for lack of sufficient support it was com- 
pelled to close its doors. Thus for a period of 94 years, this institution, as 
Rock River Seminary and Mt. Morris College has been a force for good 
in Northern Illinois and far beyond. It might be of interest in giving this 
brief account to give also the names of those who were most prominent in 
directing the educational work of this institution. 

The first Principal as stated, before, was Professor J. N. Waggoner for 
two years, Professor D. J. Pinckney, who was brought in from his farm 
near by, and who, off and on, was for many years one of mainstays of 
the institution. He served the Institution as principal for five years, from 
1842 to 1847. Professor Pinckney was for many years prominent in social 
and civil life, serving the State in the capacity of State Legislation and 
was an ardent advocate of freedom for the colored race in America. He was 
a man of marked ability. Though not a member of the Conference, he of- 
ten officiated as a preacher or minister of the Gospel. 

Following Pinckney as Principal, were Professor S. R. Thorp, for a year, 
Professor C. C. Olds, for a limited time, and the Reverend Professor Spen- 
cer Mattison. Mr. Mattison had had a somewhat extended experience as an 
educator, having been the head of a Female Academy in Vineville, a 
suburb of Macon, Georgia, for some years, and following that as Profes- 
sor of Ancient Languages in McKendree College, at Lebanon, Illinois, for 
five years. He died within two months after entering on his principalship, 
Then came Professor S. M. Fellows for two years, then Rev. Professor W. T. 
Harlow from 1855-1865 when it passed into control of Messrs. John Wil- 
liamson and Olin F. Matteson who officiated as associate principals. 
This was a period following the Civil War, of interest and prosperity. Pro- 
fessor Williamson resigned his place at the end of two years, leaving O. F. 
Mattison in charge, until the following meeting of the Rock River Con- 
ference when Rev. John M. Caldwell, was elected Principal. His auministra- 
tion lasted for two years. 


Among the teachers might be mentioned the name of Andrews, Pope, 
Hale, Martin, Catlinn, Miss Cornelia Russell, Mrs. Hazlitt, Miss Clarinda 
Olin, Miss S. Jennie Youngs, Miss Jennie B. Mattison, Miss Lent, Miss Lizzie 
Harlow, Miss Wheaton, Miss Mumford, Miss Stevenson, and others who for 
lack of information, can not be mentioned. 

There is a list of Trustees who had on their hearts the care of the 
Institution, whose names it would be a pleasure to mention, if the records 
were at hand. The name of one who for many years was among the most 
prominent trustees was Frederick B. Brayton of Mt. Morris. D. J. Pinckney, 
already mentioned was another. 

Certainly a debt of gratitude is due to the men who had the faith 
to plan such an institution of learning as Rock River Seminary, and then 
to stand by it in all its struggles through the years. It may not be 
needed now but the splendid record of the years gone by can never be 


"The Fowler Institute, Newark, was opened in the fall (1855) with 
Miss Jennevieve Washburn as Principal, associated with her brother the 
Reverend Sanford Washburn (Note a.) They had for two years been teach- 
ing private schools in the village. Dr. H. R. Fowler erected the building, 
and February 10th, 1857, the school was chartered under the name of the 
"Fowler Female Institute" in 1867. The First Trustees were W. C. Willing, 
Horatio Fowler, and G. W. Hartwell. Miss Washburn left in 1859 to be the 
first principal of Clark Seminary, Aurora. The following have been Prin- 
cipals since: John Higby, John Wilmarth, A. J. Anderson, D. J. Poor, J. R. 
Burns, A. J. Sherwin and J. P. Ellinwood. Among the teachers have been: 
Ella Lent, Libbie Sullivan, Mr. Simon, Sarah J. Higby, Nettie Haverhill and 
Miss Shawler. The Institute has had at times 150 scholars in attendance. 
It has been connected with it a library, cabinet, philosophical apparatus, 
etc. and offers in some respects better inducements to the students than 
any other school in the Country." 

"Fowler Institute is spoken of in the "Educational History of Illinois" 
by John W. Cook, A. M., LL. D., as follows: "Among the early Settlers of 
Newark, Illinois, were Horatio Fowler and his family who came from 
Canada, there being two sons, Charles and Henry." Mr. Cook goes on to 
tell of the graduation of Charles Fowler from an eastern college, his becom- 
ing a minister, President of Northwestern University, and Bishop of the 
Methodist Church. He also gives the History of Henry Fowler who became 
a Physician and lived in Newark for many years. It was he, who in 1855 
built Fowler Institute, and opened it for pupils the building being about 
40x50 feet, three stories in height, with two large school rooms and a reci- 
tation room. 

The school was established for the purpose of exerting a Christian in- 
fluence in the Community. There were two saloons in the village but they 
soon disappeared and for fifty years no intoxicating drinks have been 
sold openly in the town. In the Antebellum days the school was loyal to 
the core and was the active disseminator of anti-slavery doctrine. 

In April, 1861, when Beauregard opened his batteries on Fort Sumpter, 
the enlistment of a company was immediately started in Newark. Among 
the first to sign the Muster roll was Benjamin Adams, a Fowler Insti- 
tute boy. Professor Wilmarth shook him by the hand saying, "Trust in 


God and keep your powder dry." Adams was killed at Vicksburg, as were 
many other brave boys of the Fowler Institute." 

"The Institute was at its best about the time that the Civil War closed. 
At its head was Alexander J. Anderson, a Scotchman, born on the Atlantic 
while his parents were coming to America. He was a Graduate of Knox 
College and was a man of genuine character. He was succeeded in Principal- 
ship by Mr. Poore, Rev. John Burns and others. In the fall of 1880, while 
Mr. Brower was in charge of the school, the building was destroyed by 
fire and was never rebuilt. For this section of the country the Fowler In- 
stitute was an important seat of learning. The annual circular of 1866 
shdws a faculty of five teachers, one of whom was Miss Sarah E. Raymond, 
for several years the superintendent of the city schools of Bloomington, 
Illinois. It shows that the Institute was chartered in 1857, and that it had 
a course of study equal to a modern superior High School. Its main office 
was fit for a college." 

Note (a) Reverend Sanford Washborn Died July 8, 1904 and is buried 
in the Millington Newark Cemetery. He had served: Downer's Grove, Mo- 
mence, Wilmington, Plattville, Millbrook, Lisbon Center, Piano, Halsted 
St. Chicago, Plainfield, Morris, Embury-Freeport; P. E. Mendota District, 
Plankington and Howard, Dakota Conference. 


Alvaro D. Field, a member of Rock River Conference from 
1848 to 1871, is the supreme historian of this Conference. With- 
out Field's work our early history would be almost nil. He was 
diligent in research and voluminous in writing. He has left us 
an invaluable legacy, including his "Memorials of Rock River 
Conference," "Workers and Worthies of Rock River Confer- 
ence," "Scrap Book No. 1," "Scrap Book No. 2," a book of let- 
ters and an enormous amount of original hand notes, from 
which he composed his two books, doubtless including much 
valuable information which has never been tabulated. 

The following sketch of his life is taken from an autobio- 
graphical sketch in "Workers and Worthies", Verily, "he being 
dead yet speaketh": 

His father, John Field, a son of Captain Field, a soldier in 
the Revolution, and his brothers, about 1819, left their home 
in Belchertown, Mass., to seek their fortune in the West. 
The West was then in the State of New York. They cut them- 
selves farms out of the forests of Central New York, in On- 
tario County, and began life as farmers. John Field soon mar- 
ried Charity Damon. From this union were born four children, 
of whom A. D. was the youngest. He was born in Ontario 
County, in the town of Bristol, October 22, 1827. 

About the year 1829, when Alvaro was past two years old, 
his father died. In the spring of 1831 his mother married Isaac 
Hale, and moved with him into the neighborhood of Warsaw, 
in Genesee County. 


In the spring of 1832, Mr. Hale moved the family into the 
wilds of Chautauqua County. During this time Alvaro attended 
his first Sunday-school, all the summer of 1834 in sight of 
Chautauqua Lake, thus becoming a Chautauquan forty-six 
years before his friend J. H. Vincent ever saw the place. 

In the fall of 1834, Mr. Hale, with a two horse wagon 
load of passengers, set out for Illinois. In the spring he sent 
for the family. The mother, with her children, took passage 
on the steamboat, Thomas Jefferson, at Erie, Pennsylvania, 
and on June 8, 1835, they were landed at Chicago. 

Mr. Hale became a contractor, furnishing brick and timber 
to the various improvements going on in the city. 

In 1839, Mr. Hale settled on a claim a half mile south of 
the present Plato Center Station, in Kane County. He settled 
there, within forty miles of Chicago, three years before the 
land was even surveyed by the Government. 

In the fall of 1842, Alvaro was Jiving at home, and at that 
time became a Christian. This occurred in October, and in a 
week he returned to Chicago. 

In one day after I became a Christian I knew that my 
destiny was to preach. In going to Chicago I had concluded to 
join no church, but to be a free Commoner. It must have been 
near Christmas when, feeling that I was a stray sheep whom 
nobody owned, I joined the old Clark Street Methodist Church. 
I was placed in the Church class led by Mr. Bradley. In that 
class I met in the closest fellowship my dear schoolmate, C. A. 
Stowell, and Mrs. Eliza Garrett, founder of Garrett Biblical 
Institute. Our class met at four o'clock Sunday afternoon. In 
four years I was absent about four times, and I can not re- 
member being present when Mrs. Garrett was not there. 

In May, 1846, Alvaro, by the advice of the presiding elder, 
James Mitchell, started for the Rock River Seminary, at Mount 
Morris. While there, he was licensed to exhort, and he preached 
his first sermon in a school-house in the Gappin neighborhood, 
six miles north. In the spring of 1848, while living for a time 
at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, he received license to preach, and 
a recommendation for admission into the Rock River Confer- 
ence, both papers signed by the presiding elder, Henry Sum- 
mers. In July 1848, when he was somewhat past twenty years 
of age, he was received into the Conference, and sent as junior 
preacher to Hennepin Circuit, with William C. Cumming as 
preacher in charge. From that time on, for twenty-three years, 
he never failed to report at Conference for duty. 

For various reasons, we record some facts here that will 
afford an explanation of some things to the friends that re- 
main. Mr. Field always took high rank in the Conference and 
at the public gatherings of the preachers ; and it was always 


a wonder to many, why the disparity between his Conference 
standing and the grade of his appointments. The secret is re- 
vealed here for the first time. In the Conference he stood high. 
We will only cite one or two particulars. He was statistical 
secretary, and a ruling man among the secretaries for thirteen 
years. When the grand centenary year closed with a centenary 
meeting at the Conference at Dixon in 1867, the two speakers 
appointed six months before were A. D. Field and Dr. T. M. 
Eddy. Two or three times he was united with Dr. Eddy in de- 
dicating churches ; and yet in his appointments he did not rate 
so high. Why? This is the fact: Mr. Field, from his earliest 
years, was a student, and had a passion for writing ; and when 
he joined the Conference he saw, among writers, many prom- 
inent men. He admired Abel Stevens, Edward Thomson, and 
other noted writers in the Church, and he resolved to be one 
of these. He made the mistake of giving his right hand power 
to the pen, and his left to the ministerial work. With the pen 
his success was considerable, if not great. He has in his scrap- 
book perhaps a thousand columns of his productions clipped 
from newspapers. He was for some time American correspond- 
ent of the London Watchman. The National Magazine and Lad- 
ies' Repository from 1855 to 1865, contain columns from his 
pen. He attained a Church-wide reputation, and was better 
known in New England than in his own Conference. When 
Gilbert Haven, in company with G. M. Steele, met him, Haven 
swung his arms about so as to embrace the two and exclaimed, 
'Tar nobile fratrum." He was in conversation one day with 
Dr. Vincent, when circumstances induced Vincent to remark: 
"Field, I suppose you know that you are considered one of the 
finest magazine writers in the Church. " In 1866 a committee 
from a town of ten thousand inhabitants waited upon him, of- 
fering him a position as editor of a political paper, at fifteen 
hundred dollars a year. His inveterate love for the Methodist 
Church, a love which is his very life and being today, caused 
him to turn aside from such an offer. His ambition was to rise 
to some position in the Church, where his pen might find full 
employment, in a way for which he always felt that he had a 
natural calling. All this, so seemingly out of place, has been 
recounted to make known the secret of the disparity named 
above. He gave himself all through his ministerial life to 
writing. This made him a recluse. He was naturally diffident, 
and his scholarly habits shut him away from the people, giving 
cold reserve which resulted in years of partial failure. And yet 
there are compensations. His History of Methodism in the 
Rock River Conference has had the highest praise from secu- 
lar men in the highest position in civil life. John Wentworth, 
for so long a Chicago editor, and a member of Congress from 


Northern Illinois, thought so much of the book that he prepared 
a minute index of the work for his own use. As the years go by, 
and Methodism and the Northwest rises in importance, that 
book is becoming more and more a fountain of facts, and the 
men of the future will be glad that such a painstaking writer 
ever happened into Northern Illinois. He lost passing success 
for long and permanent good. He has two ambitions left. One 
is to get this present showing of Worthies and Workers pub- 
lished; and the other is to found at Evanston a permanent 
Methodist Historical Society, with an open Library and De- 
pository of facts and things. As an addition to the above, it 
may be said that Mr. Field put in as much as a solid year's 
work on the Standard Dictionary; his work being the selec- 
tion of quotations from authors. 

In 1871 he superannuated, and removed to Indianola, Iowa 
and died December 19, 1908. 


Perhaps the most fruitful and successful piece of Home 
Missionary work of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the 
United States was the work among the early and later Ger- 
man immigrants. We are not so much concerned, however, in 
this connection with the work of the beginnings of German 
Methodism in general, but rather with the origin of it within 
the territory of the Rock River Conference. 

The work in Ohio as a result of Dr. William Nast's con- 
version developed rapidly. Dr. Ludwig Sigismund Jacoby, 
who later became the grandfather of our beloved Bishop John 
Louis Nuelsen, a highly honored member of Rock River Con- 
ference, was converted and came into the Methodist Church 
through Dr. Nast. He began to preach in Cincinnati ; his first 
appointment was in St. Louis. Work among the Germans in 
Missouri and Illinois expanded rapidly. By 1845 eleven Ger- 
man circuit riders were covering the territory now included 
in the states of Missouri, Illinois and Iowa, which regions in 
the same year were organized into a German-speaking dis- 
trict. Jacoby was made the first Presiding Elder of this dis- 
trict. 1844 he was transferred to the Quincy district, which 
covered the territory of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. Jacoby 
was the first German Methodist preacher in the bounds of the 
Rock River Conference and first preached in Galena, 111. The 
lead mines in the neighborhood offered good pay and attracted 
many Germans. William Schreck organized the mission, the 
work became self-supporting, as Galena was known as the 
first self-supporting church in the entire northwest. 


Philipp Barth was the first missionary for the German 
Mission in Chicago. He came in 1846; the first chapel was 
built in 1847 and was located on the south side of East In- 
diana Street, between Wells and Franklin; the cost was 
$558.00. The first parsonage was erected in 1850 at the cost of 
$347.00. The work on the south side was started in 1852, on 
the west side in 1853. The English brethren were always 
sympathetic toward the German work. Brothers Goodrich, 
later Judge Goodrich, and Evans, the founder of Evanston 
and later Governor of Colorado, were special friends of the 
young work. The Trustees of the 'Methodist Church Block" 
never hestitated to grant lots and money, whenever necessary, 
in the founding and assisting of the thirteen German Missions 
and churches in Chicago. The story of the early beginning 
and the development of German Methodist work in Chicago is 
most fascinating and tragic. We owned the spot, corner of 
Clark and Adams Streets, where the Federal Building now 
stands ; then moved to a lot where the LaSalle Street Station 
is now located. We sold this valuable spot later to the Lake 
Shore and Michigan Southern Rail Road for $12,000. As we 
scan the records of our Rock River Conference we find how 
our English brethren nurtured and supported this promising 
plant. As early as 1844, and then all the way through to 1864, 
when the Northwest German Conference was organized, large 
missionary appropriations were set aside for churches in 
Galena, Freeport, Peru, Lena, Freedom, Yellow Creek, Blue 
Island, Bremen, Frankfort, Sandridge, Aurora and many 

Missionary influences have gone out from Chicago in the 
early days. Some of the members of the First German Church, 
and the others later, helped to establish the German work in 
Sandridge, Blue Island, Tinley Park (Bremen formerly), Hick- 
ory Creek, Aurora, Dundee, Arlington Heights, Elgin, etc. 
Elgin Zion German Methodist Church, was the last and found- 
ed in 1889. The first 33 years were the years of pioneering. 
In 1864, at the insisting request of the Rock River Conference, 
the Northwest German Conference was organized with 57 
preachers, 5,537 members, and property valued at $132,000. 
The work expanded so rapidly that it was deemed wise in 1872 
to organize the Chicago German Conference. This organiza- 
tion existed as a separate entity until 1924, when the mother 
and daughter united again as the "Chicago-Northwest Con- 
ference." This rather peculiar and unnatural marriage lasted 
only until 1933, when the family decided that the two should 
marry into nine different conferences, reaching from Tolstoy, 
South Dakota, to South Bend, Indiana. We brought at that 
time to the Rock River Conference fourteen churches with 


2531 members and 2721 Sunday School scholars, likewise 
property values of $439,100. We do not think that the found- 
ers have ever dreamed of a German-speaking church. We 
have had a generation (33 years) of strenuous pioneer work, 
another generation (33 years) of organization and establish- 
ment, and a generation (33 years) of adjustment and transi- 
tion. The process of Americanizing has fulfilled its purpose 
triumphantly in Rock River Conference. Under many adverse 
circumstances the work of our German Methodist preachers 
brought difficulties and discouragements. They were trying, 
however, to accomplish their task with joy and gladness, al- 
ways having been convinced that God had given them a prob- 
lem which only they could solve. 

If the sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, 
great-grandsons and great-granddaughters of the early pio- 
neers of the German tongue in the territory of our Rock River 
Conference worship now in Methodist and other Churches in 
our native tongue, the old and young pioneers have done their 
part in bringing one good American member into the palace 
of our coming grand American nation. May the Great God 
bless all the children and grandchildren of former German 
Methodism and help them to retain the faith of the fathers! 



In about 1825 a Swedish sailor, Olof Gustaf Medstrom, 
was stranded at New York. Shortly afterwards he was led 
to Christ by some Methodists, who encouraged him to become 
a Methodist preacher. He joined the New York Conference 
in 1835 and continued to preach in English until 1845, when 
he was urged to become a Missionary among the Scandinavian 
sailors and immigrants, who began to come in large numbers 
to the United States. An old ship in the harbor was rigged up 
for a chapel, named "The Bethel Ship." Many souls were 
converted before they were sent westward. 

A brother, Jonas Hedstrom, was sent to Illinois, ready to 
here meet the immigrants from the North. Jonas Hedstrom 
was the first Swedish Methodist preacher to join the Rock 
River Conference. Others followed, who became the early 
pioneer evangelists and pastors of the newly organized Swedish 
churches in Chicago and other towns in Illinois. 

In 1852 Olof G. Hedstrom visited his brother at Victoria. 
Then he was invited to stop over and preach in Chicago, with 
the result that the First Scandinavian Methodist Church was 
organized here in December, 1852. 


I. — Immigrants Coming to Chicago — The first stationed 
pastor was S. B. Newman, who also served as immigrant 
missionary. That part of the work was the most fruit- 
ful. Through the revival spirit in the church newcomers were 
converted to God and joined the church membership. Poor 
and in need of economical help scores of immigrants were 
cared for at the parsonage, until other arrangements could be 
made for them. At the morning and evening devotionals many 
were converted at the parsonage. 

II. — Church Meetings — Through the help rendered the 
church won many friends and supporters of the good work. 
Among the first ones of them was the sea captain C. M. Lind- 
gren, father of the late banker Richard Lindgren. Often the 
meetings in the church were disturbed by men who did not be- 
lieve that the Methodist preaching was in accord with their 
old faith and hence it should be stopped. The preacher would 
be 'interrupted by hideous yells or by hurling of stones, aimed 
at the speaker. Sometimes the worshippers were openly at- 
tacked. Captain Lindgren possessed both courage and physical 
strength and he acted as a sort of special policeman at the 
meetings. Once he undertook to escort a leader of a gang of 
disturbers out of the church. The culprit drew a knife and 
seriously wounded Captain Lindgren. Arrest and trial of this 
man followed. Jail and fine had a wholesome effect on the 
others. After that the church crowds grew larger and the 
Scandinavian Methodists were respected and permitted to 
worship unmolested. 

When the membership grew in number, the families be- 
gan to be divided in larger areas of the city. The Norwegians 
began to settle more on the northwest side, while the greatest 
number of the Swedes remained on the lower northside. Dur- 
ing the years 1864-1868 the Norwegians decided to separate 
from the Swedish church and they organized the First Nor- 
wegian-Danish church, in order to do better service among 
their own countrymen by using the Norwegian language en- 
tirely. Great revivals continued among both Norwegians and 
Swedes ; and many immigrants were added as members to the 
respective churches. 

III. — Des Plaines Camp Meeting — The campmeeting at 
Des Plaines became an annual event among the Swedes. 
In order to have better influence over the immigrants, 
who at first could not get any benefit from the preach- 
ing in English, the Swedish group started to have their own 
campmeeting. During the first years Swedish Methodist fam- 
ilies invited the newcomers — immigrants — with them to the 
camp. They even lodged and boarded them for the week. In 


that week many were gloriously converted to God and became 
loyal members, of whom their grandchildren are partaking at 
Des Plaines today. From 1865 or for the past 75 years they 
have continued annually to meet here. 

The Norwegian-Danish group followed later, or fifty-five 
years ago, to hold separate services at Des Plaines. In the 
spirit of unification the Scandinavians have lately joined camp 
and all this year have enjoyed a spiritual fellowship. 

If it had not been for the zealous pioneer Scandinavian 
preachers, it is doubtful if there ever would have been any 
Swedish and Norwegian-Danish Methodist church either in 
America or in Scandinavia. For obvious reasons we cannot 
give that information here. 

After these almost one hundred years of successful min- 
istry you will find the numbers of Scandinavian churches de- 
crease, but the members will remain in the united American 
Methodist Church. If the members of these three nations 
have been an asset to the mother church and the kingdom of 
God it is for the holy men of our great church to answer. — 
John P. Miller. 


Rock River Conference Organizations. 


A Review of the History of Garrett Biblical Institute, Pre- 
pared for the Centennial Volume of Rock River Conference, by 
Horace G. Smith, Class of 1910; Trustee, 1924-1932; Profes- 
sor of Preaching, 1926 ; President, 1932 

Garrett Biblical Institute gladly joins with Rock River 
Methodism in its celebration of a hundred years of organized 
service. The school is first the child and then the mother of 
this conference. It is both effect and cause. The Institute is 
here because of the conference, while the latter is in large part 
what it is today, because of the school. 

It is altogether fitting therefore that a brief history of 
Garrett Biblical Institute be given in the volume of the cen- 
tennial session of Rock River Conference. This history can- 
not be either exhaustive or definitive. There is neither time 
nor space for that. The writer has in mind the presentation 
of the essential facts in such a succinct way that even he who 
runs with the haste and hurry of our modern age might find 
an opportunity to read this brief review. In the most part I 
shall depend upon the researches of Frederick C. Eiselen and 
William D. Schermerhorn, both of whom have written a rec- 
ord of the years, though for entirely different purposes. My 
debt personally and officially to both of these men, is very 
great as is indeed that of every other Garrett man. 

Rock River conference was already fourteen years old, 
and was assembling for its annual session at Rock Island when 
the first building for Garrett Biblical Institute took shape very 
near the site of the present buildings, in the closing portion of 
the year 1854. Evanston was really not yet in existence 
though there was a small community scattered along what is 
now called Ridge Avenue. The present campus was simply a 
wooded ridge along the lake, separated from the residences re- 
ferred to above by a bog where the muskrats played. While 
Northwestern University had been chartered in 1851, its 
classes did not open until September 1855. These were held in 
a frame building, (Old College), which still stands on the cam- 
pus, though it was then located at the corner of Davis and 

Chicago was a struggling young city whose charter was 

about twenty years old. The country at large was enjoying 

the expansive exhilaration that had come with the gold rush. 


The states had not yet fully faced up to the "irrepressible con- 
flict" though our Methodism had already been living in two 
households for a decade. Such in brief were the conditions 
when this lusty infant came to birth. 

Great Personalities 

"Garrett resulted from the conflux of great personal- 
ities, " is the cryptic way Doctor Schermerhorn describes its 
beginning. Some of these personalities deserve more than the 
mention of their names. There was first of all Peter Borein 
who came from the hills of Tennessee. Converted at fifteen, 
he was early thrust into the Methodist ministry. Though in- 
adequately trained, he quickly rose to leadership, because of 
great native ability. While pastor of what is now the Chicago 
Temple, Borein took Eliza Garrett and her merchant husband 
into the church (1839). There is little doubt but that his oft 
repeated hope that some one would establish a training school 
for ministers, had much to do with the decision of Mrs. Gar- 
rett to devote her fortune to this great end. 

Mrs. Garrett, whose name the Institute bears, was at once 
a gracious and generous, as well as a deeply consecrated 
Christian person. As a young woman named Eliza Clark, she 
had married this bold and venturesome young man who tried 
his fortune in many places only to fail until he came to Chicago 
in 1834. Here he prospered rapidly, and amassed a consider- 
able fortune. His wealth, largely in the form of Chicago real 
estate, came into the possession of the widow T following his 
early death. As the two children born to Mrs. Garrett had 
died when little more than infants, she had no immediate heirs. 
Consequently she was greatly concerned about the final dis- 
position of her estate. In casting about for the best use of her 
wealth, she doubtless recalled the desire of her former pastor 
that some one would endow a school in which ministers might 
be trained. 

Her intention to do this was greatly strengthened by her 
husband's attorney, Grant Goodrich, by her pastor at that 
time, John Clark, as well as by Daniel Kidder, secretary of the 
Sunday School Union, and other Methodist leaders. Her will 
setting aside two-thirds of the estate for this purpose was 
dated December 2, 1853. Something of the spirit of Mrs. Gar- 
rett is shown in that after she had made up her mind to use 
her estate in this way, and the school was actually started, she 
limited her living expenses to $400 a year in order that the 
work might go forward. 

John Dempster did more, probably, than any other one 
person to bring the nascent dream of such an institution to 
immediate life. He is described as a man "with his eyes on the 


horizon, and with a commission from God to establish a line of 
training schools for the Methodist ministry across the con- 
tinent." He came of pioneering stock for his own father was 
sent to America by John Wesley to supervise the work of 
Methodism in western New York. John was the only convert 
at a camp meeting to which he had reluctantly gone as driver 
for his family. Entering the ministry, he soon proved his 
ability, held good churches, became a presiding elder and was 
sent to General Conference time after time. He served as a 
missionary in South America for a term, and while there es- 
tablished schools to train the native ministers. When he re- 
turned to America, he was consumed with one ambition, and 
that was to establish schools to provide a better educated min- 
istry for the Methodist church. This determination grew out 
of his experience at home and abroad where he had seen that 
Methodist ministers were equalled by none as to zeal, but sur- 
passed by many as to training. 

Dempster soon found his first opportunity in an institu- 
tion struggling for life in Newberry, Vermont. His kindling 
enthusiasm and steadfast courage quickly gave new vigor to 
this enterprise. Under his leadership it was moved to Con- 
cord, New Hampshire, where larger support was available. 
The creative and enduring quality of his work at that institu- 
tion may be measured by the fact that it has now become 
Boston University School of Theology. 

When he saw that his first venture was safely established, 
Dempster turned his face westward in the hope of founding a 
school in the middle west. He had had some correspondence 
with those who believed that a school of this character might 
be started at Bloomington where the fledgling, Illinois Wes- 
leyan University was trying its first flights. On the way to 
that city, he needs must pass through Chicago, and while there 
he learned that Mrs. Garrett had already made her will setting 
aside a large portion of her fortune for the purpose he had in 
mind. This knowledge set his very soul on fire. Feeling that 
he was being led of the Lord, he sought an interview with Mrs. 
Garrett and her counsellors. 

Organization and Opening 

Out of a series of such councils came an organization 
meeting on December 26, 1853, at which time a committee was 
authorized to launch an institution of this character, with the 
understanding that it would eventually be built upon the en- 
dowment to be provided from the estate of Mrs. Garrett. Ar- 
rangements were made to build upon the campus of North- 
western University. Money was sought for a building and 
plans laid to organize a faculty. In all candor it must be said, 


that one reason, even though a secondary one, for all this haste 
was to anticipate any intention of down state Methodism to 
launch a similar enterprise at Bloomington. In any event 
plans moved forward so rapidly that the new building known 
as Dempster Hall was ready for occupancy late in 1854. The 
Institution was actually opened January 1, 1855 when four 
students were present to greet the faculty composed of Wil- 
liam Goodfellow, William Wright and John Dempster. 

A charter for the new institution was secured from the 
state of Illinois, February 15, 1855, and plans were laid at once 
to organize the school on the basis of this authorization. While 
this transfer from the temporary to the permanent organiza- 
tion was under way, Mrs. Garrett unexpectedly died, Novem- 
ber 23, 1855. As the last act of her life was to confirm her 
generous bequest for the endowment to the newly chartered 
organization, the future of the school seemed secure. 

The new school was not universally welcomed so far as 
Methodism was concerned. There w T as wide spread prejudice 
against institutions for ministerial training. It was feared 
that the students would become, "flippant, dry sermon readers 
or worse." Some men high in the councils of the church bit- 
terly opposed these schools. The editor of the Christian Advo- 
cate wrote in 1854, "We are known to be entirely opposed to 
theological institutions for scholastic training of our preach- 
ers." Others asserted that the great body of our people pre- 
fer "heat to light," and voiced the hope that some one would 
"quench this fire brand of Theological Seminary from our 
church." It was ironically referred to as "A Central Salva- 
tion Seminary." 

The name Biblical Institute was adoped to offset the still 
greater opposition which the use of the title theological school 
would have created. The school in the east, now known as Bos- 
ton University School of Theology, operated under the name 
New England Biblical Institute for the same reason. Even the 
General Conference which formally recognized Garrett took 
occasion to point out that it would be unwise for the church 
to create many schools of this character. 

Much of this opposition reflected the temper of the time. 
Fortunately it was not strong enough to discourage the men in 
charge of this new enterprise. They believed that Providence 
as well as Necessity concurred in their action. As soon as the 
school began its work the opposition died out rapidly. "Its suc- 
cess belied the fears of the doubters." 

More space has been given to this opening chapter than will 
be given to any other. This is done not because it is the most 
significant in and of itself, but because it marks the beginning. 
There are other chapters just as heroic and just as dramatic. 


But all that came after these early days is an outgrowth of 
what happened then. The trustees, the faculty, of that far off 
day were no more devoted than those who followed after them, 
but it was given to them to lay the foundations. Others of 
necessity built upon their work. Their dream has been a guid- 
ing star from that day to this. They expressed it thus: "A 
course of study analogous and in all respects parallel to the 
best Theological Seminaries in our country. Additional courses 
which should be regarded as temporary, for such as were un- 
able to measure up to the complete ideal. No learning, how- 
ever profound, no graces nor eloquence, however polished, to 
be satisfactory unless the Holy Spirit was enthroned high 
above all human personalities." 

Continuity and Change 

The doors of Garrett Biblical Institute which opened for 
students on January 1, 1855 have never been closed from that 
day to this. The school has remained in continuous operation. 
Each year the regular sessions of school have been held as an- 
nounced. There have been dark and difficult times when no 
one knew quite what was ahead. On two occasions at least, the 
faculty has been notified by the trustees that no guarantee of 
salary could be made. In each case the faculty continued at 
their work out of sheer devotion to the task to which they were 

During these years there have been wars, fires, panics and 
intellectual controversies, but Garrett has survived them all. 
The Civil War, as well as the World War, created conditions in 
which the operation of such a school was most difficult. The 
Chicago Fire swept away buildings erected in part on borrowed 
money to create a productive endowment. The panic of 1857 
as well as that of 1873 created serious financial difficulties for 
the school. 

Due to a series of circumstances which will be referred to 
later Garrett faced its most serious crisis in 1931-'33. During 
this period its educational properties were sold to satisfy cer- 
tain creditors and all its endowment income was segregated for 
the benefit of bond holders. Even this disaster did not close 
the school. Through the loyalty of the faculty, alumni and 
friends, and the courage of the trustees, it went forward with- 
out a break in its long and fruitful history. So Garrett faces 
the future with the confidence born of the ability to experience 
and overcome tribulation of all kinds. The institution in its 
corporate capacity might well say, "Students, faculty, trustees 
and friends come and go, but I go on forever." 

In all this continunity there has been change. Possibly one 
chief reason for its continuity has been the ability to adapt it- 


self to changing conditions. Again and again this school has 
demonstrated its power to live by doing this very thing. There 
have been the outward and visible changes in buildings, library 
and other equipment. There have been other changes less ap- 
parent, except to the initiated, in curriculum, standards of ad- 
mission, methods of instruction and so on. One who compares 
the first announcement of faculty and courses with the cata- 
logue of 1940-'41 will be amazed at the changes in titles of 
professors, and descriptions of courses. The nomenclature is 
entirely different. Many of the old courses are listed under new 
names, but no small part of the curriculum is made up of 
studies unknown in 1855. The students of today have a vastly 
richer offering of courses than those of yesterday. These 
changes in curriculum have been elaborated by Dr. Schermer- 
horn at some length in a recent Tower article, a portion of 
which will appear as Appendix A following the conclusion of 
this statement. The faculty of Garrett has not been afraid to 
experiment with new methods, and to test the validity of new 
approaches in theology. Not infrequently they have pio- 
neered the way which other schools have followed. All these 
changes have come slowly and gradually and with due regard 
to the essential values of our faith. 

Standards of Admission and of Graduation 

In the beginning Garrett admitted every one properly re- 
commended by the ecclesiastical authorities. While the school 
urged students to secure a full college education, the only real 
requirement was that students shall have "attained disciplined 
faculties, fully able to srrasp the course of study." In 1857 the 
catalogue announced, "for the present we do not insist upon 
any given standards of literary qualifications for entrance." 
It was soon found that for the sake of educational efficiency 
more exacting standards were necessary. 

In due season therefore, a degree course was organized for 
those who had had a college training with a series of diploma 
courses known as Greek-Hebrew, Greek-English and English 
courses outlined for all others. At first no special requirement 
was established for admission to diploma courses, but after 
another period of trial and experience, it was required of all 
candidates that they have at least a college preparatory train- 
ing. For many years the college group was in the minority until 
1912 when the two groups were about equal. At this time two 
distinct schools were organized, The Graduate School of Theol- 
ogy, and the Diploma Training School for non-college students, 
time required for the Diploma course was reduced to two years. 
The number taking this course steadily decreased until in 1930 


it was discontinued. Since that time only students who had 
completed a four year standard college course were admitted as 
regular students, though others were allowed to enroll for a 
limited time as "specials". For a time it was possible for a 
candidate for a Garrett degree to combine college and semin- 
ary work in such a way that the two courses could be comple- 
ted in six years rather than seven, but that regulation was 
discontinued in 1938. 

It should be added that at present even college graduation 
does not guarantee admission to Garrett. The prospective 
student must submit a transcript of his credits, as well as a list 
of references to whom the school writes for a statement as to 
his character, and aptitude for the ministry. The candidate 
before enrollment appears before a committee on academic 
standing for a searching interview. Even after admission to 
the school students do not become candidates for a degree until 
they have shown during three quarters residence not only that 
they can pass the required courses, but that they have a cer- 
tain fitness for the ministry and some promise of usefulness 
in that field of service. 

Standards of graduation have also varied though not so 
greatly as those for admission. Of course the latter inevitably 
affect the former. The formal requirements- have been meas- 
ured on the basis of hours of class work. It is difficult to make 
fair comparison, because the school operated for many years on 
the term, then the semester and, since 1915, on the quarter ba- 
sis. Probably the hours required are about the same. At pres- 
ent a student must complete 31 majors, a major being a class 
meeting four hours a week per quarter. The faculty reserves 
the right to, and often does, exact additional work of those 
whose preliminary preparation has been inadequate in certain 
fields or whose work at Garrett has shown certain weaknesses. 

Before graduation a student must pass a written exam- 
ination showing general comprehension of the two groups of 
"content courses". He must also pass an oral examination in 
which he proves his capacity to apply the preaching and pas- 
toral "skills" considered in the list of the three groups of study 
into which the curriculum is divided. Upon the completion of 
his work the graduate is granted the Bachelor of Divinity de- 


An institution like Garrett finds itself composed of several 
distinct groups. There are trustees and interested friends, 
faculty members and alumni, and then there are students. Of 
all these groups the latter is the most important. The school 
exists for them. Its success is measured by what it may do for 
the students who commit themselves to its care. 


Outwardly one student generation may differ greatly from 
another. Inwardly, they are much the same. Their outlook and 
attitude may differ, but their devotion and essential spirit con- 
tinue on the same high level. 

A few figures concerning the student body of 1939-'40 
may be significant. There were enrolled 280 men and 51 
women. They came from 33 states and six foreign countries. 
In this student group, graduates of 192 colleges and universi- 
ties were listed. 

One of the most noticeable changes so far as students are 
concerned is in their larger participation in the life and work 
of the school. They cooperate closely and on equal terms with 
the faculty in the conduct of the Commons, the Book Store, 
and the Chapel Services. The curriculum committee holds fre- 
quent conferences with student groups so that their point of 
view may not be overlooked in the enlargement and enrichment 
of the program at Garrett. 

It might be noted also that their interests vary greatly 
from generation to generation. Students of an earlier day were 
interested in specific reforms such as slavery and temperance. 
Today this zeal has widened into the idea of christianizing the 
whole social order. Again, those of an earlier period were cap- 
tivated by such challenges as, "The evangelization of the world 
in this generation." Today, discussions center around world 
peace, and a new economic order. These are but samples of 
shifts and changes in student opinion. 

The students of today match those of an earlier day in 
their readiness to sacrifice. They will pay almost any price to 
secure an adequate preparation for the ministry before them. 
They stand ever ready to answer the call of the church whether 
it be in far lands or near at home. 

Former Students and the Garrett Fellowship 

The first class graduated from Garrett in 1858. Every 
year since then, graduates have gone forth as well as some 
others who did not complete the course. These former students 
contribute the chief glory of the institution. They and the work 
they have done justify the existence of the school. Well over 
six thousand have been enrolled throughout these years. Ap- 
proximately one third that number continue in active service. 

Many of these former students have gone out to the mis- 
sion fields in foreign lands. The Methodist church cannot write 
its missionary history without paying tribute to the work done 
by our foreign representatives. The home mission field, urban 
and rural, has always had a full quota of Garrett men. The 
number of these who have gone into educational work is as 
large as is the roster of those in missionary service. They serve 


as teachers and administrators in all the varied forms of edu- 
cational institutions. Then, there have been board secretaries, 
editors of the religious press, bishops and other leaders in the 
church. The chief contribution of Garrett however, has been 
to train men for pastoral service. At this fundamenetal task, 
former students may be found all across the land and in all 
types of churches. 

Alumni and former students have always shown a devoted 
loyalty to the school. This loyalty has been manifested in sev- 
eral ways. Every year many new students have come because 
some graduate enthusiastically portrayed the advantages of 
school. An increasingly large number of Garrett "sons'" have 
enrolled. Like the alumni of most schools Garrett men gave no 
thought to their financial responsibility to the school until re- 
cently. In fact the school went on its way without providing a 
channel through which alumni support could be given. 

Like many another good thing the larger alumni support 
of today is the outgrowth of necessity. It gained its impetus in 
the darkest days of the crisis of 1931-'33. Late in the fall of 
1932 the new president, confronted with an all but impossible 
situation, launched the "Garrett Fellowship". This was frankly 
patterned after the Foundation at Northwestern University, 
and similar organizations in other institutions. Through this 
association alumni were solicited for financial support with 
marked success. It must be admitted that part of this success 
grew out of the fact that World Service Credit could be se- 
cured for such gifts. This enabled alumni in the pastorate to 
secure from their churches gifts for Garrett. Had it not been 
for this stream of such gifts which poured in from 1932 to 
1940, it is hard to see how the school could have continued. 

In the newly organized Methodist Church, which begins to 
function as this history is written, such World Service Credit 
is no longer possible. Alumni will therefore be faced with the 
acid test of loyalty. Gifts must hereafter be made very largely 
out of personal resources. In fact an increasing number of Gar- 
rett men had been making gifts on this basis. Past performance 
justifies the faith that such generous support will in the future 
become the universal custom. As one retired man put it in send- 
ing his yearly remittance, in September 1940, "This is my an- 
nual salute to Garrett." 


Garrett Biblical Institute has been unusually fortunate in 
the personnel of its faculty throughout the years. This roster 
includes some names widely known throughout the church be- 
cause of creative scholarship and a unique gift of expression. 
The total list however, is made up of men of genuine devotion, 


ripe scholarship and kindly interest in those whom they 
taught. Possibly, the hall mark of the Garrett teachers has 
been this willingness to spend and be spent for the sake of the 
students. Their students will rise up to call them blessed. Un- 
counted thousands of laymen to whom these students have 
ministered, stand deeply in debt to the men who in successive 
generations have made up the faculty of Garrett Biblical Insti- 

It is interesting to learn, from the written and spoken 
word of older graduates that each generation looks back upon 
the faculty of its own time with a feeling that there were 
giants in those days. Let one who has witnessed many changes 
in faculty personnel over the last thirty five year period testify 
that those of the later day are the peers of those in an earlier 
day. There were giants then and there are giants now. 

The following persons have served as members of the 
faculty of Garrett Biblical Institute for more than a year, with 
rank above that of an instructor. 

John Dempster, 1885-1863; William Goodfellow, 1854- 
1856; Wesley Wright, 1854-1856; David Kidder, 1857-1870; 
Henry Bannister, 1857-1883; F. D. Hemenway, 1857-1884; 
Miner Raymond, 1864-1897; R. L. Cumnock, 1869-1919; Wil- 
liam Ninde, 1872-1884; Henry Ridgaway, 1882-1895; Charles 
Bradley, 1883-1901; Milton Terry, 1884-1914; Charles Ben- 
nett, 1885-1891; Charles Horswell, 1887-1901; Charles Joseph 
Little, 1891-1911; John J. Rapp 1892-1924; Solon Cary Bron- 
son, 1896-1931; Charles Stuart, 1896-1908 and 1911-1926; 
Doremus A. Hayes, 1896-1932; William J. Davidson, 1910- 
1920 ; Frederick Eiselen 1902-1932 ; Wm. David Schermerhorn, 
1911-1916 and 1921-1938 ; John Hess 1911-1913 ; Samues Ayres, 
1911-1931 ; Leslie Fuller, 1913-1936 ; Lynn Harold Hough, 1914- 
1919; Harris Franklin Rail, 1915—; Arthur Nagler, 1916—; 
Ernest Ward Burch, 1918-1933; Anthony Horn, 1919-1927; 
Frank Beck, 1919-1930; Clare J. Hewitt, 1919-1926; Irl Gold- 
win Whitchurch, 1921—; Edwin Voigt, 1924-1932; John Reed, 
1926-1932 ; Albert Mann, 1927-1932 ; Richard Deming Holling- 
ton, 1927-1940 ; Harold Ehrensperger, 1927-1932 ; John Prince, 
1927-1931 ; N. C. McPherson, 1930-1935 ; Murray Leiff er, 1929 
— ; Dean McSloy, 1930— ;Frank McKibben 1932—; Otto J. 
Baab, 1934 — ; Paul Minear, 1935—; L. F. W. Lesemann, 1934 
— ; Edmund D. Soper, 1938 — ; Georgia Harkness, 1939 — ; and 
Rockwell Smith, 1940—; 

The following men have served as Presidents of Garrett 
Biblical Institute; John Dempster and Bishop Matthew S. 
Simpson occupied this position during certain portions of the 
period between 1855 and 1880. In 1880, Edward S. Ninde was 
elected President. Following his retirement from that office, 


Henry B. Ridgway served from 1884-1895, Charles Joseph 
Little, 1895-1911, Charles Macaulay Stuart, 1912-1924, Fred- 
erick Carl Eiselen, 1924-1932, and Horace Greeley Smith, 

The Trustees 

The following list includes the names of those who have 
served as Trustees of Garrett Biblical Institute since its estab- 
lishment in 1855. The date placed after the names indicates the 
year of election in each case. Clergymen are indicated by an 

John Evans 1855; Grant Goodrich, 1855; Philo Judson 
1855; S. P. Keyes 1855; Orrington Lunt 1855; *Luke Hitchcock 
1859 ; *Hooper Crews, 1861 ; *Thomas M. Eddy, 1861 ; John V. 
Farwell, 1866 ; *E. H. Gammon, 1869 ; Albro E. Bishop, 1871 
*Charles H. Fowler, 1871; *S. Hawley Adams, 1879; William 
Deering, 1880; *R. D. Sheppard, 1884; Oliver H. Horton, 1889 
*William C. Dandy, 1891; *F. M. Bristol, 1894; Frank P. Cran 
don, 1897; *Amos W. Patten, 1898; *Polemus H. Swift, 1899 
* John N. Hall, 1905 ; * William H. Holmes, 1905 ; *Timothy P 
Frost, 1906 ; * A. T. Horn, 1909 ; N. M. Jones, 1909 ; Harry A 
Wheeler, 1914; James E. MacMurray, 1915; *Amory S 
Haskins, 1918; *John Thompson, 1918; William H. Dunham 
1920; *Horace G. Smith, 1925; * James L. Gardiner, 1926 
*Howard P. Buxton, 1932; * Aubrey S. Moore, 1933; Mrs. Frank 
W. Howes, 1935, *A. Turley Stephenson, 1939. 

Following a long period of discussion, the trustees, in 
the year 1931, amended the by-laws so as to provide for the 
election of not more than twenty-five persons who should be 
known as Counsel Trustees. Because of charter restrictions, it 
is still necessary for the six members of the Board elected 
by Rock River Conference to pass upon certain financial and 
other matters. Those in this smaller group are known as 
Charter Trustees. 

The first group to serve in this capacity included : Bishop 
Edwin Holt Hughes; E. R. Alderson; J. M. Barnes; Burt J. 
Denman ; Albert R. Fay ; Frank W. Howes ; C. O. Loucks ; and 
Burt T. Wheeler. 

The following were added during the years 1932-1940; 
Bishop Ernest Lynn Waldorf; *Floyd L. Blewfield; *C. A. 
Bloomquist; *Warren N. Clark; * Frederick C. Eiselen; *Mearle 
S. Gable; *Dunning Idle; *T. B. Lugg; *J. Hastie Odgers; 
Howard F. Spurgeon ; * Alfred S. Warriner. 

It is apparent that this roster of those who have served 
as trustees, includes several of Chicago's most distinguished 
men of affairs, as well as many of the most prominent minis- 
ters in Rock River Conference. This body of men has guided 


the destinies of the school through some very dark and diffi- 
cult days. An adequate tribute to the courage and faithful- 
ness of these trustees would seem like an exaggeration. 


The original gift of Mrs. Garrett was very largely in the 
form of Chicago real estate. Because such property could be 
held by the Institute tax free, and because of their sublime 
faith in the future of Chicago, the first group of trustees de- 
termined that none of the real estate should be sold. In the 
face of very great opposition this policy was adhered to during 
those early critical days. While later trustees were not bound 
by this precedent they have followed the practice thus estab- 

In order to devolp the property so as to produce an income 
for the school, the trustees had to borrow money. These bor- 
rowings, plus losses by fire and the panics of '57 and '73, made 
this source of support for the school rather precarious until 
1885. Had it not been for the self sacrificing devotion of the 
faculty and the wise leadership of one or two trustees, this 
period would have been marked by the temporary closing of 
the school. 

From 1885 to 1914 Garrett had no financial problems. Its 
income was adequate for the limited program then required of 
such a school. As a matter of fact there was frequently a sur- 
plus which the trustees set aside against a rainy day. It was 
generally assumed that the school was in good shape finan- 
cially. Many who might have contributed by bequest or other- 
wise during their lifetime felt there was no necessity for such 

The burning of Heck Hall in 1914 necessitated the build- 
ing of new dormitories. At that time a new location was decided 
upon to accommodate Northwestern University. This change 
called for a complete new set of buildings. All these changes 
created for the first time in many years a serious debt. This 
situation was made more critical by the development of Wacker 
Drive in Chicago on which Boulevard four of Garretts five 
pieces of endowment property were located. Heavy assessments 
were levied and tenants were lost while construction was going 
on. To make matters even worse, the other piece of endowment 
property was left empty by a tenant who for many years had 
paid an annual rental of fifty thousand dollars per year. 

All these circumstances made it impossible for Garrett 
to meet the Dec. 1, 1931 interest on its bonded indebtedness 
incurred by erection of new buildings and the purchase of stra- 
tegic properties . As a result the income from all its endowment 
properties was segregated for the benefit of bondholders and 


from that date to this the school has had little or no income 
from that source. Early in the autumn of 1932, the educational 
properties were sold to satisfy bank obligations of about a half 
a million dollars. There were other obligations amounting to 
over a quarter of a million dollars. The day looked very dark 
for Garrett. The future seemed so uncertain that the president 
of that day, sent a messasre to all church papers headed, "Shall 
Garrett Close Its Doors ?" 

In this emergency the faculty, facing the future in a spirit 
of courage and sacrifice, took such allowances as the school 
could pay, and continued their work of teaching. Former 
students of the school were organized into a Fellowship to 
raise funds for current use. The school was continued without 
interruption of its program. In due season these floating debts 
were liquidated, the educational properties repossessed and the 
bond issue refinanced on a basis that safeguards the Evanston 
buildings, and all future gifts to the school. 

The Library 

From the very first even until now Garrett has placed 
great emphasis upon the value of a q:ood library. In 1885 there 
were, *$800.00 worth of books and the students were also per- 
mitted to use the libraries of the teaching staff". Contrasted 
with this small beginning, there are now over 180,000 volumes 
and about 20,000 pamphlets. This vast library, one of the 
largest and best of its kind in America, has come into being 
through wise administration of successive committees and li- 
brarians. At times special gifts, such as that made by William 
Deering to purchase the famous Jackson collection of Wesley- 
ana, have added greatly to the library. When the Chicago 
Training School moved to the campus, its collection known as 
the Swift Library, was included with that of Garrett. In ad- 
dition to its own vast library, the students have free access to 
that of Seabury — Western, and Northwestern University as 
well as the public libraries of Evanston and the city of Chicago. 
It should be said that present methods of teaching call for 
greatly increased use of the library on the part of the students. 

In this connection a word should be said concerning a re- 
markable service carried on by the library. For the mere pay- 
ment of postage to and from Evanston, a minister not in resi- 
dence may draw books from this great collection. This service 
has been used by great numbers of ministers near and far, for 
the range of this service is not limited. 

An informal association known as the Library Guild has 
come into being in recent years. It is made up largely of 
faculty wives, and other women who are interested in the de- 
velopment of the library. The tasks already achieved by this 


new organization indicates that it will make greater contribu- 
tions in the years to come. 


It w T ould be possible to tell the story of Garrett, using the 
various buildings which have served as its educational home 
for chapter headings. There was first of all Dempster Hall, 
built in 1854 just a little north of the present dormitories. It 
was a frame structure and included dormitory, class room and 
chapel. This building housed the school, until Heck Hall a five 
story, brick building was built, near w T here Deering Library 
now stands. Frances Willard was secretary of the committee 
which helped raise money for this building. It served for all 
school purposes until 1885. At that time Memorial Hall the 
red brick, still standing on its original site, was built to provide 
for chapel, library and class rooms. An addition to this build- 
ing was later provided by William Deering to house the Ben- 
nett Museum of Christian Archaeology. 

In 1914 Heck Hall was destroyed completely by fire. This 
loss made necessary the erection of a new dormitory. At this 
time the question of a new location w r as raised by Northwes- 
tern. After careful consideration the present site was decided 
upon and Memorial Hall was sold to the University. The new 
dormitories were erected in 1918, and the administration build- 
ing in 1924. Like all other Garrett buildings on the campus 
these new structures stand upon ground leased from North- 
western University. 

The smallest, but in some ways the most significant 
building of Garrett, is the Frank W. Howes Memorial, A Chapel 
for Prayer and Meditation. It was erected in memory of a 
distinguished trustee by his widow, who has since taken a place 
on the Board of Trustees and w T ho continues the first year 
scholarships which her husband had established. Unique in 
its character this chapel has already become the central place 
of devotion for the students of Garrett, as well as a shrine for 
many in the university and the community. 

Relation to Other Schools 

Garrett Biblical Institute is a sister institution of North- 
western University. The two schools were established by the 
same group of devoted Methodist people. While Northwes- 
tern's charter was secured in 1851 it did not open its doors for 
classes until the autumn of 1855, nine months after Garrett 
began its work. All the educational buildings of Garrett have 
stood on ground leased from the University. From the very 
beginning there has been a close and cordial working relation- 
ship between the two schools. Students have moved from one 


to the other freely, and credits have been exchanged at face 
value. Members of the faculty of one school have not infre- 
quently taught in the other. 

Because of charter limitations Garrett has not been free 
to grant either the Master's, or Doctor's degree in course. The 
University faculty has cooperated so that students at the In- 
stitute may follow a combined course and receive these degrees 
from Northwestern. These and other forms of cooperation 
have throughout the years been a great advantage to students 
of Garrett. Many students have been drawn to the school be- 
cause of the relationship with the graduate school of a great 

Across Sheridan Road stands the buildings of Seabury — 
Western, a theological seminary of the Protestant Episcopal 
church. Since its establishment in Evanston, there has been a 
cordial working arrangement whereby the classes and facilities 
of each school are open to students in the other. 

As a matter of record a word should be added here about 
the cooperation of Garrett with the Swedish and the Norweg- 
ian Danish schools of theology. These two schools were es- 
tablished in Evanston to train men to minister to these two 
language groups. While these institutions were autonomous, 
having their own faculty and equipment, most of the teach- 
ing was done in the Garrett classes. This service was rendered 
to these two groups without cost as a part of the service Gar- 
rett gave the church. 

Garrett and the Chicago Training School 

Elsewhere in this anniversary record, there will appear 
the remarkable story of The Chicago Training School. This 
institution was established in Chicago in 1885, by Mr. and Mrs. 
J. Shelley Meyer. Since 1917 Doctor L. F. W. Lesemann, a 
distinguished alumnus of Garrett Biblical Institute has pre- 
sided over its destiny. 

After years of splendid service on the south side of Chi- 
cago, this institution found itself in a situation where a move 
to a new location seemed desirable if not imperative. At about 
the same time, it became apparent that the largest service 
which the school could render to the church in the future might 
be in the professional preparation of college-trained women 
for religious leadership. Like Garrett, The Chicago Training 
School had steadily raised its standards of admission so that 
this change seemed to be the next logical step to take. 

After negotiations extending over approximately a decade, 
an arrangement was worked out whereby the Training School 
moved to Evanston in the summer of 1934 and took up quar- 
ters in the buildings of Garrett Biblical Institute. The Train- 


ing School has continued to operate under its own charter, its 
endowment interests being handled by its own Board of Trus- 
tees. The educational program, however, has been directed by 
a Board of Management made up of representatives of the two 
schools, most of the teaching being done by members of the 
Garrett faculty. Through the cooperation of Northwestern 
University, and especially its School of Education, generous 
privileges have been granted women who wish to work for the 
Master's Degree in Religious Education. 

Naturally, such an affiliation was entered upon with fear 
and anxiety on the part of both groups, though more especially 
that of the Training School, as the latter was surrendering an 
old and cherished home and mingling its life with an older and 
larger institution. It is apparent now that these fears were 
unjustified. The common judgment of those best fitted to 
know is that the move was a wise one and has inured to the 
benefit of both The Chicago Training School and Garrett Bib- 
lical Institute. 

In this connection it might be said that women were ad- 
mitted to Garrett as early as 1874. Twenty-one years later a 
degree was given a woman. Since that time women have en- 
rolled in Garrett on the same terms as men. The affiliation of 
the Chicago Training School has greatly enlarged the oppor- 
tunities for women, who come to prepare for religious service 
as a profession. 

Two Seals of Approval 

Garrett Biblical Institute, is the second oldest of the nine 
schools of theology in the Methodist Church. Its enrollment 
has at times made it the largest of the group. For many years 
it has been as it now is, one of the first two or three in this 
respect. Throughout the years it has won and held the confi- 
dence and good will of the church. This is manifested by the 
fact that the church has sent over six thousand of its young 
people to be trained at Garrett. Now after eighty-five years 
of observation and experience the church calls for more grad- 
uates than the school is able to send from year to year. 

The American Association of Theological Schools is a rela- 
tively new organization and has quickly taken its place along 
side of the standardizing agencies for other types of educa- 
tional institutions. Within very recent years this association 
published its first list of accredited schools of theology. While 
there are over two hundred and twenty-five schools in the 
United States and Canada which bear this title, only forty-five 
of these qualified for a place on the first list of accredited 
schools. Among those in this list the name of Garrett Biblical 


Institute appears. This is another valid evidence of the high 
character of the work given under direction of the faculty. 

This inadequate review of the history of Garrett Biblical 
Institute written especially for this Centennial volume, would 
not be complete without a word of acknowledgement concern- 
ing the debt which the school owes to Rock River Conference. 
While the Institute was established to serve the entire church 
its relation to Rock River is unique. The charter trustees are 
elected by Rock River Conference and must live within the 
bounds of the conference. The ties however, have been even 
closer than this indicates. Rock River has felt a special respon- 
sibility for the school. It has again and again come forward 
to meet the financial needs of the Institute. Because of its lo- 
cation most of the student churches are to be found in Rock 
River, though with the coming of automobiles, charges in other 
conferences have increased in number. 

It may be added however that the debt is not all one 
sided. While student appointments seem in first thought, to be 
for the benefit of the student, it should be remembered that 
many a promising appointment in Rock River was made such 
because in the early years of the churches' history some Gar- 
rett student watched over its infancy with solicitous care. 
Then too, many a church caught in the ebb tide of a changing 
neighborhood has been able to hold on and serve yet other 
years, because a student could live where a conference man 
could not be supported. Furthermore a careful check on the 
training of Rock River men will reveal the fact that a surpris- 
ingly large proportion of them have come to the conference by 
way of Garrett. The school has indeed given much, not be- 
cause this was required of it, but because so much had been 
given to it by this century old conference. 

Appendix A 

Appendix A taken from an article written by Professor Wm. D. Scher- 
merhorn, and published in the Garrett Tower, July, 1937. 

Courses of Study. From the very first, Garrett has had before it the 
ideal of "a course analogous and in all respects parallel to that of the best 
Theological Seminaries." In the early records there is a reference to the 
fear that possibly the preachers might not like too high a standard; but, 
they go on to say, that they do not at all doubt that the laity of the Church 
will rally to the idea of a trained ministry. "The leading design of this in- 
stitution is to make THINKING, SPEAKING, ACTING MEN." 

There were five major departments: Old Testament, New Testament, 
Ecclesiastical History, Systematic Theology, and Practical Theology. The 
Biblical courses were carried on, so far as possible, on the basis of the 
original languages. Both Hebrew and Greek were pursued by all degree 
students, and by many of the diploma men. The gradual coming of the 
historical method, and the rise of literary and textual criticism as well as 
the increasing interest in the environment, and also the social and relig- 
ious development, gradually enlarged the list of courses and humanized the 
interest. Language study and exegesis has been continued to the present 


time, but both Hebrew and Greek have become elective subjects in all 
courses. Other courses in the biblical field have to do with the History, 
Law, Prophecy, and Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, as well as 
the Inter-testamental Period with its life and literature. Also there has 
developed a study of the development of doctrine and life — particularly the 
religious development shown in both the Old and New Testaments. The 
Bible has come much nearer to life, and is a more powerful book. 

In History, study has moved away from the Church in vacuo. Marked 
changes may be described as: (1) Greater dependence upon sources and less 
bondage to secondary materials. (2) The introduction of the element of 
archaeology and the gift of $15,000 for the establishment of the Bennett 
Museum of Christian Archaeology. (3) The inclusion of areas hitherto 
little studied, so that our present histories are enriched by the sense of a 
Church that is age-long and world-wide. (4) A greater consideration for 
environmental forces; the general history, manners and customs, relig- 
ions and philosophies of those contemporary civilizations which powerfully 
influenced the development of Christianity. It is now THE CHURCH IN 
HISTORY. (5) An interest in the doctrinal development rather than in 
established creeds and confessions, with a turning to vital and living issues. 

(6) A shift in approach from formal lists of dates and controversies to the 
biographical; following the creative personalities who made the churches. 

(7) Contemporay History, aiming to bring the whole matter down-to-date. 

Doctrine: In 1855 this department was divided into three parts; "nat- 
ural theology" or what was to be learned apart from the Scripture; "re- 
vealed theology," or what was to be learned from the Scriptures; and 
"polemical theology" discussing such systems as Deism, Socianism, Pelag- 
ianism, Calvinism, Fatalism, Papacy and Modern Rationalism. Gradually 
there has been a tendency to enlarge in the direction of the most vital 
themes, with scanter attention upon the purely speculative. Theology which 
is worth anything now grows out of experience. Instead of the old "polemi- 
cal" title there is a course entitled, Modern Religious Movements which is 
announced to cover such fields as Modernism, Fundamentalism, Premil- 
lenialism. Humanism, Anglo-catholicism, and Barthianism. The chief prob- 
lems in the regular courses are those relating to God. to Man and Salva- 
tion. Tendency is indicated by the title of Dr. Rail's three books: "The 
Meaning of God, A Working Faith and A Faith for Today." 

One very important development from the doctrinal stem is a group of 
courses in Ethics and the Philosophy and Psychology of Religion. This newer 
group of studies has become one of the most popular and helpful in the 
whole curriculum. 

Coming in between the doctrinal and the practical is the set of courses 
in Missions. From the very first this field has been attempted — first covered 
in the work of a missionary society and the Student Volunteers. Then of- 
fered in the Church History Department and also in the department of 
Practical Theology, with an additional course in "Comparative" Religions in 
Systematic Theology. With the broadening of the field, and the shift from 
mere propaganda it has become a study of "World Trends and Christian 
Forces" and is offered in the Church History group. 

"Pastoral and Parish Activities" have experienced the greatest modifi- 
cation. At the beginning, to quote one of the bishops, "The Methodist 
preacher had but two things to do; to save souls and to raise money." It 
was never quite so simple as that. But early prospectuses do not even 
list Sunday School work among the activities to be learned. Courses in 
preaching and pastoral administration have always been in evidence. Very 
early special attention was given to public speaking. The development of 
scientific education brought with it a department of Religious Education, 
and has influenced the whole matter of recruiting and training new mem- 
bers. The rising interest in Sociology and in a more humane society made 
needful a new section in the curriculum, dealing with courses specially re- 
lated to Rural and to Urban Life, to the Home and Family, to the Christian 


ideals in business and industry. Preachers go out with skills and techniques 
for making surveys and studies, so that church work is no longer approached 
on the catch-as-catch-can method. Increase in aesthetic appreciation has 
made needful new attention ritual and church music. Youth organizations 
make it needful to know something of recreational activities, including 
scouting. Courses in Architecture and in Clinical Use of Religion have been 

Methods of Instruction: At the very beginning a generous part of the 
small funds available was invested in books. Textbooks were supplemented 
by lectures, discussion, and the wider reading provided. At first, the teach- 
ing was divided into five departments and over each was a professor who 
was Head of the Department, and pretty free to offer what he chose. Later, 
as the school developed, the "group system" was adopted whereby the whole 
curriculum was arranged in five groups one of which each regular student 
was required to take. These were: Biblical, Historical-doctrinal, Pastoral 
and Social service, Foreign Missions, Religious Education. These groups 
allowed for considerable choice outside the special fields. Further adaptation 
to modern educational technique has done away with the other idea of 
"Departments" and "Heads" and instead there have come certain "groups" 
and within them, "fields of concentration." Group I deals with Religion in 
Its Historical Aspects. Group II with the Interpretation of the Christian 
Religion and Group III with the Activities of the Minister and the Church. 
Within these groups there are planned nine "fields of Concentration" in one 
of which each student is to do his major work. 

A recent revision has changed this last plan somewhat. As outlined 
in the catalogue 1939- '40, the student is required to take first the essential 
courses in Groups I, II, and III. In addition to these he must select either 
Group I or II as the unit of study to which he will give special emphasis. 




In one of his addresses, Woodrow Wilson asserted in lang- 
uage which compels our thought : "Our civilization cannot sur- 
vive materially unless it be redeemed spiritually. It can be 
saved only by becoming permeated with the spirit of Christ 
and being made free and happy by the practices which spring 
out of that spirit. Only thus can discontent be driven out and 
all the shadows lifted from the road ahead." In this expression, 
we find a challenge for all who are engaged in promoting the 
cause of education and especially to those who believe that 
there is a higher mission for our colleges and universities than 
to train men and women to earn a living — for democracy can- 
not live on bread alone. Was this not in the minds of that 
group of nine men, who on May 31, 1850, met in a small law 
office over a hardware store on Lake Street near LaSalle Street, 
Chicago, to consider the establishment of a university under 
"the patronage and government of the Methodist Episcopal 

Following an opening prayer by the Reverend Zadoc Hall, 
came addresses by the Reverend Richard Haney and by Dr. 
John Evans, one of the leaders in his profession, a member of 
the Clark Street Methodist Church, of whom it is stated, that : 
"among the founders of Northwestern his name is best known. 
The first thought of it was his." Of him, as of the two business 
men, Orrington Lunt and Jabez Botsf ord ; of the three Chicago 
Methodist ministers, Richard Haney, pastor of the Clark 
Street Church, R. H. Blanchard, pastor of the Canal Street 
Church, and Zadoc Hall, pastor of Indiana Street Chapel; and 
of the three lawyers, Grant Goodrich, Henry W. Clark and 
Andrew J. Brown, who constituted that group of nine men, his 
interests, it might well be said were broader than his profes- 
sion. Not one of these men had attended a college although 
some of them had been students in Methodist Conference 
Seminaries and Dr. Evans was a graduate of Lynn Medical 
College, Cincinnati. 

What, it may be inquired, was the sufficient reason for 
establishing another institution of collegiate grade in the 
Northwest — a region then but sparsely settled? Twenty-eight 
colleges in the Middle-West had been chartered and were giv- 
ing instruction to students prior to 1850. No non-sectarian col- 
lege had been chartered in Illinois. McKendree was the only 
Methodist college in this State and there was no other institu- 
tion of collegiate rank within the State nearer than Knox Col- 


This group of young men appreciated, no doubt, that the 
founders of Methodism recognized the work of the school as a 
necessary auxiliary to the Church and were aware that John 
Wesley, a fellow of high rank in Lincoln College and graduate 
of Oxford, at the first Conference of the denomination in 
England, presented the question of schools under Methodist 
auspices. It was because of his pleading, together with that of 
his dynamic associate, George Whitefield, a Pembroke College 
student and Oxford graduate, that financial assistance was 
sent by the English Wesleyans to Princeton and to Dartmouth 
Colleges and Whitefield was one of the founders of the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania, 1740. 

Francis Asbury, General Superintendent of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in America, upon his arrival, began solicit- 
ing contributions for the founding of a school and Dr. Thomas 
Coke, to whom Wesley committed the joint supervision, with 
Asbury, of the Methodist Church in the United States, submit- 
ted a plan for erecting a college to the first General Con- 
ference, meeting in Baltimore, 1784. Far reaching, also, in the 
life of the Church was the provision made by the General Con- 
ference in 1820, that: "all annual conferences establish as 
soon as practicable, literary institutions under their own con- 
trol and in such manner as they may think proper." 

It was the good fortune of Dr. Evans, twenty-seven years 
of age, who was already established as a physician in Attica, 
Indiana, to hear a lecture on "Christian Education" by the Pres- 
ident of Asbury College (now DePauw University) . "Man is the 
creature of education," the speaker, Matthew Simpson, de- 
clared. "While the faculties of Church colleges should be com- 
posed of Christian men," he added; "there should be no sectar- 
ianism in the instruction offered and students should not be 
denied admission because of religious belief." 

So impressed was Dr. Evans with the lecture that, on the 
following day, he went to hear President Simpson preach. "The 
earnest words of the sermon,"' as related by Mrs. Simpson, 
"wrought upon the physician still more and he proposed to go 
on with the Old Doc (as Matthew Simpson was called by his 
friends), and thus began a devoted friendship between these 
two ardent natures, one that deepened with the years. Within 
a short time, Dr. Evans became a member of the Methodist 

In 1848, having accepted a professorship in Rush Medical 
College, Dr. Evans took up his residence in Chicago. He was 
one of the organizers of the Chicago and of the Illinois Medical 
Societies, and for five years served as editor and later as one 
of the proprietors of the Northwestern Medical and Surgical 


After the death of Mrs. Evans, 1850, Dr. Evans began to 
devote more of his time to the church, to the problems of edu- 
cation, to business, to civic affairs, and for two years he served 
as a member of the Chicago city council and was chairman of 
the committee on schools. As a member and worker in the 
Clark Street Methodist Episcopal Church, he established a 
friendship with Grant Goodrich and Orrington Lunt and later 
married the sister of the latter, Margaret Patten Gray. He 
was one of the founders of the Northwestern Christian Advo- 
cate and of the Methodist Book Concern. 

From his first meeting with President Simpson, it is evi- 
dent that Dr. Evans had conceived a plan for the founding of 
a Christian university in the middle west, for upon this project 
they were in agreement before Dr. Evans came to Chicago and 
before Dr. Simpson, after nine years of service as college presi- 
dent, assumed his duties as editor of The Western Christian 

In the statement by Dr. Evans, at the first meeting the 
committee of nine, in the little Lake Street office, it seems 
probable that he gave expression, in some form, to the ideal 
which through the years was the dominating force in his life 
and defined by himself as follows: 'There is no other cause 
to which you can more profitably lend your influence, your 
labor, and your means than that of a Christian education, by 
aiding in founding a university." 

In addition to the three ministers, the other laymen who 
were present at the first meeting of the committee were men 
who were active participants in the civic, intellectual and social 
advancement of Chicago, a city which boasted a population of 
29,963. Among them were Grant Goodrich and Orrington Lunt, 
who were to be thought of as outstanding among the founders 
of the University. 

At twenty-years of age, Grant Goodrich, having studied 
law in an office, left his native state, New York, and began the 
practice of law in Chicago, a frontier town of only four hund- 
red inhabitants. He became, likewise, a successful investor in 
building lots and his name is found among the pioneers who 
were interested in civic and religious undertakings, serving as 
a member of the first Chicago school board, and as one of the 
organizers and secretary of the board of trustees of Rush Med- 
ical College. In his law practice, he became acquainted with 
Abraham Lincoln, was one of his most ardent admirers and 
advocated his nomination as President of the United States- 
After serving five years as judge of the Superior Court of 
Chicago he continued to practice law as head of one of the best 
known firms in the city. 

Another name indissolubly associated with the history of 


the University is that of Orrington Lunt who has been aptly 
called "the discoverer of Evanston and the nestor of North- 
western." Before coming to Chicago, he had served as clerk 
and as partner in his father's store in Bowdoinham, Maine, the 
place of his birth. Owing to hard times, he determined to seek 
his fortune in the West, his available capital consisting mainly 
of letters of introduction. With characteristic energy and cour- 
age, he became a buyer of wheat and within three years found 
it possible to erect his own warehouse. Mr. Lunt became iden- 
tified also with real estate and railroad interests and was made 
trustee, auditor and vice-president of the Chicago Union Rail- 
road. In early manhood, he joined the Methodist Episcopal 
Church and became prominent as a worker, serving later as a 
delegate in two General Conferences and as a member of the 
Methodist Ecumenical Council held in London, 1881. 

An attempt has been made to present something of the 
careers of only three of the men who met on that last day of 
May, 1850, to consider the founding of a university. It must be 
conceded that here were men of vision, men possessing that un- 
wavering confidence necessary for membership in a board of 
trustees, men competent to overcome the spirit of apathy and 
pessimism which accompanied the periods of war and financial 
crises incident to the critical first years of the University. Dr. 
Evans was to serve as President of the Board of Trustees for 
forty-three years, notwithstanding he had taken up his resi- 
dence in Denver as Governor of the territory of Colorado, 
through appointment by President Lincoln. For thirty-nine 
years Grant Goodrich served as a trustee, and Orrington Lunt 
for forty-six years. 

In their first meeting, the committee of nine defined their 
objectives in a series of resolutions. "Whereas", the first reads : 
"the interests of sanctified learning require the immediate 
establishment of a University in the Northwest, under the pat- 
ronage of the Methodist Episcopal church ; Therefore Resolved, 
that ; a committee of five be appointed to prepare a charter to 
incorporate a Literary University to be located at Chicago, to 
be under the control and patronage of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, to be submitted to the next General Assembly of the 
State of Illinois. 

Resolved, that; said Committee memorialize the Rock 
River, Wisconsin, Michigan and Northern Indiana Conferences 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church to mutually take part in the 
government and patronage of said University." 

The committee on charter made its report, which was 
unanimously adopted at a meeting of the original committee 
in the parsonage of the Clark Street Methodist Church, June 
14. A bill to incorporate the "North Western University" was 


passed by the General Assembly and with the signature of 
Governor A. C. French became a law January 28, 1851. Since 
the University was to provide higher education for the North- 
west, in addition to the twelve laymen whose names appeared 
in the charter, there were designated four trustees who were 
ministers from the Rock River Conference, Richard Haney, 
Philo Judson, S. P. Keyes, A. E. Phelps; and the same number 
from each of the Wisconsin and the Iowa Annual Conferences. 
Providing the Michigan, Northern Indiana, and Illinois Confer- 
ences should each choose four members, they were likewise to 
be included among the trustees. An amendment to the charter. 
February 16, 1861, provided that each of the annual confer- 
ences was to be represented by two trustees. On February 19, 
1867, it was provided that the Board may elect any number 
not exceeding twenty-four and that " a majority of the whole 
Board shall be members of the Methodist Episcopal Church." 

Among the statements submitted in a letter for the Con- 
ferences were the following : "Believing that the duties, respon- 
sibilities and highest interests of our Church loudly call for 
prompt and efficient action on her part, your brethren of 
Chicago have determined to found a University of learning and 
solicit the cooperation of the Church. " In the institution were 
to be taught all of the higher branches of education and espec- 
ially such branches of literature, science and arts as would 
enable students to qualify for the practical duties of life. There 
was assurance that $25,000 could be raised in Chicago by vol- 
untary contributions toward the support and endowment of the 

On June 14, 1851, the first meeting of the corporation was 
held in the Clark Street Church. It was of greatest significance 
for the future of the University that Dr. Nathan Smith Davis 
was among the trustees present, having been elected to fill the 
vacancy caused by the death of Eli Reynolds. Dr. Davis had 
come to Chicago from New York City as a member of the Rush 
Medical College, 1849. Two years earlier he had founded the 
American Medical Association and was the editor of "The 
Annalist," a semi-monthly medical journal. He was known 
throughout the country, not only as a leader in his profession 
but also in the educational and religious fields. He became the 
first dean of the Northwestern University School of Medicine 

A plan of operations looking toward the establishment of 
a college of liberal arts was approved. It was recommended that 
a president should be selected who was to serve as the professor 
of moral philosophy and belle lettres, with a salary of $1200; 
that there should be established the professorships of mathe- 
matics, of the natural sciences, and of ancient and modern lang- 


uages, and that $20,000 should be raised for a preparatory de- 
partment to be located in Chicago. With commendable foresight 
they decreed that no debts might be contracted, or money ex- 
pended, without the means having first been provided. 

By August 1, 1851, the Executive Committee recommend- 
ed a site for the preparatory building, which included sixteen 
lots on the corner of Jackson and LaSalle streets, the present 
location of the Continental Illinois National Bank. Dr. Evans 
advanced the $8,000 necessary for the purchase, and after 
transferring the title to the trustees became a leading con- 
tributor to the fund. 

The Michigan trustees, including Dr. Clark Titus Hin- 
man, were, for the first time, in attendance upon the meeting 
of the Board, June 22, 1853. It is evident that his reputation as 
a successful administrator and scholar was known for he was 
made chairman of one of the most important committees — 
that of permanent endowment. His report was approved and 
on the same day he was elected the first president of the 
University. After his graduation from Wesleyan University, 
Middletown, Connecticut, where he took high rank in scholar- 
ship, he accepted the call to become principal of Wesleyan 
Seminary, later Albion College, Michigan. By his forceful 
leadership he succeeded in placing the school upon a sound 
financial basis. 

In full agreement with the proposed Dlan to make North- 
western the central University for the Methodist Church of the 
Northwest, Dr. Hinman assumed the task of securing $200,000, 
the amount agreed upon by the trustees for its endowment, 
although he had urged a goal of $500,000. One half of the 
$200,000, was to be procured by the sale of scholarships, and 
the balance by subscriptions. Fifty thousand dollars had been 
subscribed in Chicago before the sale of perpetual scholarships 
at one hundred dollars each began. In the appeal to Chicago 
Methodism it was stated that there was no institution of the 
grade and character proposed under Protestant influence with- 
in a convenient distance from the city; that there were nine 
Methodist churches in Chicago with nearly 1000 members, and 
there were nearly 1000 children in Methodist Sabbath Schools. 
"The Church", it was urged; "is ordained to be "the light of 
the world." Education in the common, modern acceptance of 
the term, is second only in importance to the preaching of the 
gospel. Education, then, is the legitimate province — the appro- 
priate work of the church. She must perform that work or she 
will fail in her mission." 

By action of the trustees, 1853, a site for the University 
was procured — the Evanston to be — and plans for the erection 
of buildings were made. The proposal for a preparatory build- 


ing in Chicago, at that time, was thought inexpedient. The 
President was requested to attend the different annual con- 
ferences and present the interests of the institution and one 
member from each of the patronizing conferences was appoint- 
ed to represent the University within these conferences. 

In his addresses, President Hinman won favor through 
his prophecy for this central Methodist University which was 
to be the equal of any Eastern institution. 

Philo Judson, a member of the Rock River Conference, as 
Financial Agent, accepted the task of assisting the President 
in the sale of scholarships, and in procuring additional sub- 
scriptions. He made an appeal, through the Northwestern 
Christian Advocate to his fellow members of the Rock River 
Conference which was received with favor. 

Dr. Evans and Orrington Lunt were the largest contributors, sub- 
scribing S5.000 each. The list contains the names of a number of persons 
who were not connected with the Methodist Church. 

To President Hinman must likewise be ascribed the outline 
for instruction in the University which was provided on a 
scale that was both broad and liberal. The plan adopted by the 
trustees made provision, at the outset, for the College of Liter- 
ature, Science, and the Arts as best meeting the needs of the 
country. "But since the institution is designed to be a Univer- 
sity," it is stated; "at least in the full American sense of the 
term, with its different departments, it might appear an over- 
sight to confine our organization to the faculty of a single de- 
partment." It was decided that no Medical School was then 
required since the Rush Medical College, with its able faculty 
of which Dr. Evans and Dr. Davis were members, would un- 
doubtedly keep pace with the demands of the profession. A 
department of law was to be organized "at no distant day." 

A plan for the special training of ministers had already 
been devised by Dr. John Dempster, an able preacher of great 
energy and invincibility of purpose. His project interested Dr. 
Evans, Orrington Lunt, Grant Goodrich, and Philo Judson, who 
agreed to provide a building, Dempster Hall, the first erected 
on the campus, and $1,600 a year towards its support. They 
were four of the five persons constituting the original Board 
of Trustees of Garrett Biblical Institute. 

The minutes of the University trustees, for 1854, give 
evidence of the hopeful feeling and aggressive spirit which 
dominated the founders. The assets of the institution including 
land, notes and subscriptions amounted to $281,915, with 
liabilities of $32,255. Expressing confidence that, with little 
delay, they would be enabled to fill all fourteen of the profes- 
sorships proposed, they selected two young men who with Pre- 
sident Hinman, were to constitute the first faculty. Henry 


Sanborn Noyes, A. M., a graduate of Wesleyan and former pupil 
and friend of Dr. Hinman at Newbury Academy, was called to 
the chair of Mathematics and William G. Godman, A. M., to the 
chair of Greek Language and Literature. Of the superior quali- 
fications of these men there was no question on the part of the: 
Board, for they assert : "In profound scholarship and practical 
experience they compare favorably with the professors of any 
Eastern college in their respective departments. 

The time had arrived when the prophecy of President 
Hinman, for the future of the University, was about to be ful- 
filled. While undertaking to provide for other professorships 
by additional scholarships and $100,000 for the erection of 
buildings, including an astronomical observatory and a library, 
he was stricken, when thirty-five years of age, with a sudden 
and fatal illness. 

Notwithstanding the temporary check to their plans be- 
cause of the loss of the President, the trustees appointed 
Professor Noyes President "ad interim." A most important pro- 
vision embodied in an amendment to the charter which had 
passed the legislature and had been signed by the governor, 
February, 1855, was adopted. One section, which doubtless 
originated with Dr. Davis and Dr. Evans and was unanimously 
approved by all members, provides that: "no spiritous, vinous 
or other fermented liquors shall be sold under license, or other- 
wise, within four miles of the location of said university, ex- 
cept for medicinal, mechanical, or sacramental purposes under 
a penalty of twenty-five dollars for each offense. Providing 
that so much of this act as relates to the sale of intoxicating 
drinks within four miles, may be repealed by the General As- 
sembly whenever they may think proper."* 

It was decided to erect a frame building for temporary 
purposes and the corner-stone was laid with much ceremony, 
June 15, 1855, Bishop Matthew Simpson making the address. 
On November 5, this superb building, as it was called, later 
known as Old College and now headquarters for the School 
of Education, was ready for occupancy. The opening of the 
college, which, for five years had been the objective of trustees 
and friends and about which so much had been spoken was not 
marked by any formal exercises. The faculty of two greeted 
the incoming students numbering ten during the first year. 
"Dr. Evans", it is stated by one of the students, "would drop 
in upon us at class-work and give us hearty God speed as ho 
*By an all inclusive act of the legislature it was provided, 1934, that 
the "licensing of taverns" in all municipalities should become mandatory 
upon city councils on and after May 10 of that year, — unless a referendum 
at the April election should determine otherwise." An all Evanston com- 
mittee, of which the writer served as chairman, assisted by trustees, faculty 
and alumni of the University and thousands of Evanston citizens, succeeded 
in keeping Evanston dry territory, by a large majority of votes. 


pictured for us the oncoming years with full faculties of in- 
struction in all departments, large permanent buildings, large 
classes, etc." 

To the names of men, already mentioned, who may be 
thought of as advancing the Christian ideals for the University, 
but serving for only a combined total of ten years, should be 
added those of Randolph S. Foster, Erastus 0. Haven and 
Charles Henry Fowler, successors to Dr. Hinman as President. 
Each of them had been a successful minister. Dr. Haven had 
served as Professor of English and as President of the Univer- 
sity of Michigan, resigning the last position in order to accent 
the call to Northwestern. 

After serving three years, President Foster returned to 
New York as minister in one of the important churches. 
Dr. Haven, at the end of three years, was elected the first 
Secretary of the Board of Education of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church and after four years President Fowler accepted the 
position of editor of the New York Christian Advocate, then 
the most influential position of its kind in the Church. All 
three were elected bishops. 

Loyal Methodists all, there is no evidence which indicates 
any suggestion of a desire on their part to modify the charter's 
provision, that: "No particular religious faith shall be re- 
quired of those who become students of the institution", nor to 
change one of the first acts of the trustees which declared 
that: "Professors were to be selected on the basis of character 
and qualifications." 

Meantime, two new members had been added to the faculty 
whose lives were to be devoted to promoting the best interests 
of the University and whose influence was to extend to the 
present. Both of them were noted for their inspiration in the 
class-room and for their influence on the characters of their 
students; both served as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts 
and as President ad interim. Both were active members of 
the Methodist Church. 

The influence of Doctor Daniel Bonbright, Professor of 
Latin Language and Literature, and Doctor Oliver Marcy, 
Professor of Natural History and Physics, in shaping faculty 
legislation, their views on research and freedom of thought 
and their place in the community may not here be adequately 
described. Their attitude toward the basic ideals upon which 
the University was founded may receive only brief mention. 

On a number of occasions, both of these Presidents refer- 
red to the relationship between the Church and the University. 
President Marcy describes the influence of the instructor as 
follows : "It may be said that there is no religion involved in 
instruction in Latin or Greek, Philology, Philosophy or Geology, 


but there is an immense difference between the religious tone 
and the religious influence of the instruction given in any of 
these branches by a professor who looks at the world from a 
standpoint of matter and force, and the tone and influence of 
the instruction of that professor whose standpoint is an intel- 
ligent, superintending Providence." 

The coming of Henry Wade Rogers, successful dean of the 
law school at the University of Michigan, as President, was an 
epochal event in the history of Northwestern. "The nature 
of the teaching and the scope of the work to be carried on," 
he declared in his inaugural address: "should be broadly 
Christian but not sectarian. " 

"He both liberalized and broadened the horizon of the 
University," wrote Dr. W. A. Locy, Professor of Zoology. "He 
raised the standard all along the line in the professional 
schools as well as in the College of Liberal Arts. It did not 
grow away from the Church, but became a more fitting repre- 
sentative of the Church." 

"We have no auditorium large enough for us to assemble 
all our students for prayer or on any other notable occasion," 
Dr. Rogers writes in 1900. "The Northwestern University for 
the first time in its history appeals to the Methodist Church 
... it is our duty to urge our claims upon the attention of the 
Church . . . Northwestern is the product of Christian faith and 
Christian sentiment ... It is not as suppliants, but as creditors 
that we appeal to the Church and to the community." 

But President Rogers in using the phrase "for the first 
time in its history," referred to the Church at large and was 
not unmindful of the spirit of approval which the Rock River 
Annual Conference year after year had recorded. In the re- 
port of the Conference Committee on Education, 1892, is the 
statement : "We are more than ever pleased with the represen- 
tations of this truly great and growing University. We know 
of no worthier or more desirable institution in this country . . " 

In stressing the idea that the University, in coming to the 
Church for financial assistance, came "not as a suppliant but 
as a creditor," President Rogers was thinking of the contribu- 
tions made by alumni toward strengthening the program of 
Methodism. This view was made concrete during the admin- 
istrations of Presidents Joseph Cummings, Edmund Janes 
James and Abram W. Harris, and especially in the appeal made 
to the Board of Home Missions and Church Extension and the 
Board of Foreign Missions during the administration of Act- 
ing President Thomas Franklin Holgate. 

To properly implement "The Centenary Movement," in its 
proposed "war-time reconstruction program," 1919, President 
Holgate and the two members of the Committee serving with 
him; — Frederick Carl Eiselen, Dean of Garrett Biblical Insti- 


tute, and the writer, Deari of the Graduate School, concluded 
that the universities, and especially the graduate schools, must 
assist in the effort to procure the 13,000 trained leaders for 
social and religious service throughout the Methodist Church 
and in the Inter-Church movement. 

"It is our desire," the Committee declared in a commun- 
ication to the two Boards: "to have all the available facilities 
of Northwestern University placed at the disposal of the 
Church for the training of leaders in the various fields of re* 
ligious and social activities contemplated by the Centenary 
and Inter-Church movements. ... To accomplish the best re- 
sults in several departments of study of the highest scholar 
ship and reputation. As we now plan, one must be added in 
Biblical Literature and Research ; one or two in Missions ; two 
in Religious Education ; one in rural and village life and one or 
more in each of the special fields of History and Geography. 
. . . With the support of the Centenary Board, for five years, an 
endowment can doubtless be raised to make the program 
permanent." . . . 

"The appeal is made in order to supplement a larger in- 
vestment already made by the University for these and allied 
fields of study. With this supplementary aid we shall be pre- 
pared to offer one of the best programs given by any institu- 
tion in the country for the training of young men and women 
for Christian social service." 

Attention was called to the fact that Northwestern was 
the only University in Methodism which had been honored by 
election to membership in the Association of American Uni- 
versities. It was stated that the University, as envisioned by 
its founders, had been a continuous asset to the Church. Ac- 
cording to an investigation made, in 1905, by a graduate of 
the College of Liberal Arts, and a member of the Rock River 
Conference, Dr. Amos W. Patten, it was shown that in that 
year 124 graduates were on the Foreign Mission fields of the 
Church, and numbers representing other Churches. 

Dr. Thomas Nicholson, an alumnus, while secretary of the 
Board of Education, carried on an investigation in order to 
ascertain where the Methodist Episcopal Church had secured 
its missionary recruits over a period of five years. "In com- 
mon with others," he states : "we expected to find that certain 
colleges like Ohio Wesleyan, which had been widely noted for 
evangelistic and missionary fervor, would lead the list. To our 
surprise and gratification we found that in that five year pe- 
riod Northwestern University had given the Church more mis- 
sionary recruits than any other college or university of our 
Church, and with the exception of two of the larger institu- 
tions, as many as any other two colleges in the whole list." 

Students and faculty had paid the salary of Miss Jose- 


phine Stahl in India, and continued to contribute to the salary 
each year of a graduate in some one of the foreign fields, as, 
$1,000 to J. R. Denyes in Java and the same amount to Miss 
Inez Mason as teacher of science in Isabella Thoburn College. 
Among the other well known alumni missionaries were — Dr. 
Arthur J. Bowen, President of Nanking University ; Dr. Spen- 
cer Lewis, noted scholar and translator of Chinese dialects; 
Dr. Ida Kahn, well known for her remarkable service in or- 
ganizing the hospital at Nanchang, China; Dr. and Mrs. Wil- 
liam T. Hobart, Christian leaders in Peking; Bertram and 
Mrs. Rappe in Chungking; William R. and Mrs. Johnson in 
Peking; Burton and Mrs. St. John in China; Alice Monk in 
Hokaido; John M. Springer, Thomas A. OTarrell, Julia Kipp 
and Ray Kipp in Central and South Africa ; and George P. 
Howard in South America. President Charles M. Stuart 
stated that, in a single year, fifty men who had attended Gar- 
rett Biblical Institute were graduates of Northwestern. 

In response to the presentations by the Committee, in 
their numerous interviews with Board secretaries, the Boards 
voted $40,000 a year for five years toward an increase in the 
number of University instructors in Religious Education, Home 
and Foreign Missions, and other subjects in the curriculum 
closely correlated therewith. Among the additional members 
of the faculty secured were: John E. Stout, George H. Betts,, 
and Norman E. Richardson in Religious Education; Edmund 
D. Soper in the History of Religions ; and William L. Bailey, in 
Sociology, for a city and rural church program. Isaac J. Cox 
and Harold B. Ward were brought to the University as instruc- 
tors in Hispanic- American History and Geography, primarily, 
to prepare workers for service in South American countries. 

At the close of the five year period 196 graduate students 
had elected their major work in the department of Religious 
Education alone. One had become a college president; sixty- 
three, directors of religious education and teachers in week- 
day schools; twenty-three, superintendents and teachers in- 
public schools; nineteen, teachers in Methodist colleges, theo- 
logical schools and Wesley foundations; twenty-six, teachers 
in other institutions of higher learning; twenty-three mis- 
sionaries ; thirty-two ministers, and nine Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. 
C. A. secretaries. Unfortunately, within two years after the 
inauguration of this program the Mission Boards were con- 
fronted with a decrease in offerings from the Church and were 
forced to curtail their contributions to the University. 

Impressed with the importance of the program, however, 
the trustees of the University, in 1923, adopted the following 
report of their Committee on Education, of which James F. 
Oates was chairman : "Resolved ; that the work which has been 
conducted in the Departments of Religious Education and His- 


tory of Religions and Missions during the last four years has 
been of great significance in connection with the development 
of the University, and that it is the further opinion of the com- 
mittee that the work of these two departments be incorpor- 
ated as integral and permanent departments of the University, 
providing funds are available for the continuance of this work 
either from special sources or in the budget of the University." 
The following year, nothwithstanding a budget deficit, 
the Trustees voted to include the entire program as an integral 
part of the University curriculum. The courses in Religious 
Education were listed in the School of Education, of which Dr. 
John E. Stout was made Dean. Professor Edmund D. Soper 
continued in charge of the Department of the History of Re- 
ligion and Missions, and Professor Frederick E. Eiselen in 
charge of Biblical Literature. 

The active support of this program by President Walter 
Dill Scott promoted its continuing success. In an address to 
the Trustees he writes : "The great need of the Church today, 
the great need of any institution that attempts to overcome 
the power of sin and relieve the suffering caused thereby is 
trained men and women. I am willing for the moment to forget 
the service that this University renders to all other forms of 
social service and to have her judged in terms of her coopera- 
tion with the central agency of social service, the Church," 

The thirty-five active pastors, and six pastors emeritus, of 
the present Rock River Conference who have been granted de- 
grees by the University ; the graduates serving in other Meth- 
odist Conferences and in numerous non-Methodist pulpits ; the 
alumni on the several mission fields; the hundreds of Christ- 
ian teachers and business and professional men and women 
would cite, among those contributing to the development of 
Christian character among students, the names of Robert 
Baird, Herbert F. Fisk, George A. Coe and other faculty mem- 
bers ; would stress their influence on programs in local churches 
and would list some of their extra-curricular activities. 

While Dr. Scott, as a student of the life of Dr. John Evans, 
as an alumnus, and for many years as chairman of the depart- 
ment of Psychology would give due credit to each of the influ- 
ences mentioned, he was thinking also of the University's 
superior religious program which was established by the 
trustees in 1937. This program is carried on under the lead- 
ership of two groups of persons ; the University Board of Re- 
ligion and the Association of Religious Counselors. The first, 
or policy developing group, is composed of fourteen members 
who are appointed by the President of the University, and in- 
cludes representatives from the trustees, faculty, alumni and 


students. Among its members are: President Franklyn B. 
Snyder, Vice-President Fred D. Fagg, Jr., Dean of Faculties, 
Bishop Ernest L. Waldorf, President Horace G. Smith and Dr. 
Ernest F. Tittle. The chairman of the Board, Dr. Thornton 
Merriam, was appointed by the President of the University 
and holds the rank of Professor. 

The Religious Council, with Dr. Merriam as chairman, is 
composed of Foundation directors, of university pastors, and 
the secretaries of the Young Men's and Young Women's 
Christian Associations. The purpose of the Council is to develop 
the cooperative prases of the University's religious program. 
The Methodist Student Foundation has been organized, 
with the Reverend Eric T. Brand, as full-time Director and 
Counselor, in charge of the Foundation headquarters and of 
the Sunday evening vesper services. Serving on its Board of 
Trustees are the Bishop of the Chicago Area and ten ministers 
and ten laymen appointed by the Rock River Conference. On 
the Board also are the Methodist ministers of Evanston and 
the Director of the University Board of Religion ; representa- 
tives from the faculty, from the University administration, 
and from the students and alumni, the Methodist secretaries of 
the Christian Associations and two representatives from the 
Department of Wesley Foundations and Methodist Student 
Work of the Board of Education. 

The purpose of the Foundation has been defined as fol- 
lows : ''Through fellowship in worship, study, discussion, work, 
and recreation to lead the student to a growing appreciation of 
Christian ideals and to an increasing expression of those ideals 
in Christ-like action." 

In what has been written, there has been an attempt to 
give, in mere outline, some of the methods by which North- 
western University has promoted a program for developing 
among its students the ideals of Christian social service. 
Throughout, there is evident the purpose which inspired the 
founders and promoters of the University, that the kind of 
social order to be sought can be attained only as all relation- 
ships, personal, national, international, are fashioned in keep- 
ing with the standards of Christian life and character. To 
quote a paragraph written by President Franklyn B. Snyder as 
foreword to "A Guide to Your Religious Interests," which was 
presented to all new students at Northwestern University this 
year, 1940: "Northwestern University was founded by men 
who believed in religion as the most significant guiding factor 
in human life, and who believed in Christianity as the noblest 
of all religions. The University of today holds fast to these 
beliefs, and recognizes in the Student Religious Council an 
agency for translating this fact into action." 



When Rock River Conference began its corporate life in 
1840, it found The Methodist Book Concern ready to help in the 
extension of its program with an enviable record of fifty-one 
years already to its credit. Methodism's concern for books 
was a heritage of John Wesley, who from the outset of his min. 
istry made a practice of printing booklets and pamphlets of 
every description. Even the name of our Publishing House in- 
dicates that next to concern for souls, was the concern for the 
culture of souls, which had its practical experience in the con- 
cern for books which would minister to that culture. 

George Washington had been president of the United 
States for only four months when the Conference, meeting in 
John Street Church, New York, in May 1789, established The 
Methodist Book Concern. That v/as an historic Conference. 
It was the first religious body in the country to send congratu- 
lations to the first president. It also commissioned Jesse Lee 
to establish Methodism in New England and then established 
the Methodist Book Concern. These achievements are suf- 
ficient to make this Conference distinct and historic in the an- 
nals of the church. 

Under the presidency of Francis Asbury, that little con- 
ference of only twenty-five men grappled with the task of es- 
tablishing the printing business. Of the need, there was no 
question. Experience and precedent was lacking, but there 
was no lack of faith. When it came to the matter of obtaining 
money for the enterprise, it was John Dickins, Secretary of 
the Conference who said, "Brethren, be of good courage. I 
have six hundred dollars, the savings of my life's labors. I 
will lend it all to the Conference for the beginning of this 
work." The Conference accepted it and John Dickins was ap- 
pointed Book Steward, the title used in England and used in 
this country until 1820. 

The new enterprise was located in Philadelphia. Dickins 
opened his offices in August, and before the end of the year 
had produced several books. The first to be published was, 
"The Christian's Pattern," (Wesley's version of Thomas 
aKempis.) The Book Concern remained in Philadelphia until 
1804, following a true itinerant plan in its existence, when the 
General Conference meeting in the city of Baltimore deter- 
mined that the Book Concern should be moved to New York. 

The affairs and business of the Book Concern have, from 
the beginning, been under the close supervision of the church 
through a regular appointed committee. The evolution of the 


Book Committee is very interesting. It first was composed of 
six members, all ministers, and for the convenience of meeting- 
owing to the long distances separating the ministers in pas- 
toral work and the great difficulty of travel and also because 
the Book Steward, John Dickins, was a resident pastor in 
Philadelphia, all members of the committee were selected from 
the Philadelphia Conference. 

When the Book Concern moved to New York in 1840 the 
Committee for similar reasons was selected from the New 

^ 9oo£ erence ' When the Cin cinnati House was establish- 
ed m 1820 at first as a branch of the New York House and 
later m 1839 incorporated in its own right, there were two 
committees, and two agent residents at Cincinnati and New 
York respectively. One committee was from the New York 
Conference, and one from the Ohio Conference of ministers 
It was not until 1848 that the committees were elected by the 
General Conference. However, in 1868, the Committee was 
elected at large, with three additional members from the 

districts of New York and Ohio. With one Book Commit- 
tee now charged with the administration of both Houses con- 
siderable detail work was left to the "local committees" in New 
York and Cincinnati, who later with members from the Chi- 
cago area became the Executive Committee. The Executive 
Committee serves the Book Concern very much as a Board of 
Directors serves a general corporation. 

l«9nVn d i e Q9Q he ^ lea ^ er f !? ° f Nathan Bangs > who served fr om 
i»zu to 18^8, the Book Concern made great strides This 

versatile man was Publishing Agent, Editor of books and 
periodicals, and to all intents and purposes, the Book Commit- 
iT ;^. d ! r T, his . leadershi P the Christian Advocate and the 
Methodist Review were started, and the Book Concern be^an 
to bind and print in its own building. It was Bangs who bought 
in the name of the Book Concern, its first property, at 14 Cros- 

+Z fv^ , ^ Y0V ^ at a cost of five th ousand dollars. In 
that little building books were edited, printed, bound, and sold. 
On September 9, 1826, there went from its presses the first 
issue of the Advocate, the complete edition of five thousand 
copies being printed on a hand press. 

With Methodism moving westward, it soon became ap- 
parent that a branch house was needed in the West and in 
18^0 a depository was opened in Cincinnati. This House de- 
w T?8«Q m T i«o° f i he m . ain establi shments of the concern 
TQM fL ki! ' a dep ^ or y ^ as °P ened ^ Chicago, and in 
19^8, this became one of the mam establishments Other de- 
^°n eS f n ™ operating as such are located in Boston, Pitts- 
bugh, Detroit, Kansas City, San Francisco, and Portland 


The development of the Concern was not without its set- 
backs and heartaches. There were disastrous fires, when 
whole plants with equipment and stock were burned, and in- 
surance was largely uncollectable. Chicago for example, lost 
its property and contents, amounting to one hundred thousand 
dollars in the fire of 1871, and unquestionably lost another one 
hundred thousand dollars in the suspension of trade until the 
House was on its feet again. Then there were also long per- 
iods of great difficulty of doing business over wide areas, when 
business was largely a local affair in each community. There 
were periods of great economic dislocation due to panics and 
depressions. An illustration of these difficult days may be 
seen in this rather surprising story. 

"The difficulty of transfer of payments from one community to another 
for many years during the history of our wildcat banking is hard for us to 
understand- Today one sends one's personal chack on any bank to any 
part of the civilized world, and it is accepted as a matter of business 
routine. Then drafts on Cincinnati banks might not be honored in New 
York in which instances other means of payment had to be found. One 
very historic case is cited when the Cincinnati Depository owed the par- 
ent concern in New York $4,000 and had the money in Cincinnati banks. 
New York would not accept either Cincinnati's money or a draft on a Cin- 
cinnati bank except at ruinous discount. To make this payment the 
Assistant Agent at Cincinnati resorted to a then unprecedented method 
of making payment. He chartered two small boats (two, in the hope that 
at least one would get through). One he loaded with cotton, the other with 
tobacco, and attempted to send them to New York via the Ohio and Mis- 
sissippi Rivers, the Gulf of Mexico, through the Florida Keys and then 
continue to New York. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, the cargo of 
tobacco was destroyed on the Atlantic Coast. The chronicler does not tell 
us whether the cargoes were insured or whether the cotton in New York 
was sufficient to liquidate the charge between the houses, or indeed whether 
the account was ever otherwise liquidated. The incident does, however, il- 
lustrate the almost unsurmountable difficulties of transacting business be- 
tween two widely separated business centers." 

The Book Concern, in its one hundred and fifty-one years 
of existence, has sold approximately two hundred million dol- 
lars worth of religious and other good literature. Its net pro- 
duce has amounted to approximately twenty million dollars, 
over eight million dollars of which has been distributed to the 
funds for retired ministers, and approximately ten million 
dollars devoted to other purposes, as directed by the general 
Conference. The House enjoys a reputation among publishers 
as being not only one of the largest in the world, but also pro- 
ducing an unusually fine selection of books. Under the im- 
print of the Abingdon Press, it's books have circulated far be- 
yond the borders of Methodism. The Advocate can boast of a 
unique position in religious journalism, having the largest cir- 
culation for any religious weekly, and from its presses come 
church school literature which ranks among the best pro- 
duced today. 


To knit a rapidly increasing church into a vital sense of 
fellowship, the early leaders of the church set into motion 
plans for the Christian Advocate. In 1826, the first edition 
came from the presses, edited by a layman, Barber Barger, 
who came to the Advocate from Zion's Herald. That was the 
first of what became a family of Advocates published at var- 
ious places as the movements and growth of population re- 
quired. There came in rapid succession, the Western Advo- 
cate, published in Cincinnati in 1832, the Pittsburgh in 1833, 
the Northern in 1844, the Northwestern and California in 
1853, the Central and the Pacific in 1856. 

The Northwestern was begun in Chicago in 1852 and had 
as its first editor, J. V. Watson, who served until 1856. T. M. 
Eddy followed him for a period of thirteen years. He in turn 
was followed by J. M. Reid and Arthur Edwards, who held the 
office for twenty-nine years. D. D. Thompson, a layman 
served from 1901 to 1908, and was succeeded by Charles M. 
Stuart. Upon Dr. Stuart's election to the presidency of Gar- 
rett Biblical Institute, he was succeeded by Elbert T. Zaring, 
who in turn was succeeded in 1924 by Dan B. Brummitt, who 
served until his death in 1939. Dr. T. Otto Nail is the present 
editor of the Northwestern Edition. 

The Uniting Conference in 1939 referred the future of 
"The Christian Advocate" to a joint committee, this commit- 
tee presenting its report to the General Conference of 1940. 
It was unanimously adopted. This report provides for one 
Christian Advocate, appearing in as many editions as The 
Board of Publication orders, with certain special pages for 
various territories in the United States. 

Dr. Roy L. Smith, a former Chicago pastor, at that time 
resident as a pastor in Los Angeles, California, was elected 

Under arrangements made by The Board of Publication 
the combined Christian Advocate, and the special edition of 
"The Christian Advocate" printed for the Central Jurisdiction, 
will both be produced in Chicago. This adds a number of peo- 
ple to those employed in Chicago and increases very greatly 
the business transacted by the establishment at 740 Rush 

The Chicago House of the Book Concern began in 
1852, when the General Conference directed that a book de- 
pository and weekly paper be established in Chicago. Its first 
home was in a rented property at 63 Randolph Street. The 
second home was a four story building, purchased at 66 Wash- 
ington Street. It was destroyed in the Chicago Fire of Octo- 
ber 1871, at a loss, as already indicated of one hundred thous- 


and dollars. After the fire, temporary quarters were taken 
on Clinton Street, and later removed to 24-26 E. VanBuren 
Street. Two years later, the property at 57 Washington Street 
was purchased and in 1899, a new building was erected at a 
cost of two hundred twenty-five thousand dollars. During the 
time of construction the depository transacted business on 
Monroe and Wabash. This property was sold February 1912 
for six hundred thousand dollars. While a permanent home 
was being planned for the Depository, it had its temporary 
home at 1018-1024 S. Wabash Avenue. In August 1914, the 
property at the corner of Rush and Superior Streets was pur- 
chased from the Fourth Presbyterian Church for sixty-two 
thousand, five hundred dollars. On this site the present build- 
ing so familiarly known as "740 Rush" was erected and was 
entered with due ceremonies, April 25, 1916. Administering 
the affairs of the Chicago House were William Stowe, who 
took up his residence in Chicago in 1880. Among his succes- 
sors were Lewis Curts, Samuel Pye, Edward R. Graham, Robert 
H. Hughes, O. G. Markham and Fred D. Stone. 

The move northward from the loop has since proven to 
be exceedingly advantageous. The present location, which 
once seemed too far away from Chicago's business center, is 
now itself a center of a great new commercial and residential 
district. With more and more demands for space in the 
building at 740 Rush, the Book Committee, in December 1925, 
authorized the construction of a seven story building adjacent 
to the original building. Such alterations in the former build- 
ing as were necessary were made to make the whole a unified 
structure. For many years, 740 Rush has been not only the 
home of the Book Concern, but also headquarters for several 
of the Church's General Boards. 

The Chicago establishment of The Methodist Book Con- 
cern was for many years a Depository. About 1928 it was 
made one of the three main establishments of The Methodist 
Book Concern taking parity with New York and Cincinnati. 
During the years of the Book Concern in Chicago only two 
members of Rock River Conference have been Publishing 
Agents. Rev. Lewis Curts, D. D. was elected Agent of the 
Book Concern in 1892 and served for eight years. He became 
a member of Rock River Conference in 1870 and both before 
and after his years of service in the Book Concern he occupied 
leading pastorates in the Conference. Dr. Curts was a notable 
preacher and was also notable as a money raiser. There was 
a great demand for his services at church dedications and for 
general money-raising enterprises. 

The second member of Rock River Conference to be 


elected a Publishing Agent is Rev. Fred D. Stone, D. D. Dr. 
Stone was born and has served his ministry within the bounds 
of Rock River Conference. While pastor at Irving Park 
Church in Chicago he became a member of the Executive 
Committee of the Book Committee, later serving as Secretary 
of that Committee, and from 1932 to 1936 as Chairman of the 
Committee. In 1936, on the retirement of John H. Race, he 
was elected Publishing Agent and was assigned to residence in 
Chicago. In 1940 the three publishing houses, the Publishing 
House of The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, the estab- 
lishments in Baltimore and Pittsburgh belonging to The Meth- 
odist Protestant Board of Publication and our own Methodist 
Book Concern were merged. Seven Publishing Agents had 
been in charge of these various enterprises and under the new 
arrangement two Publishing Agents have entire charge of the 
business. Dr. Stone is one of them and Dr. B. A. Whitmore 
of Nashville is the other. Dr. Whitmore is a layman who has 
been for twenty years connected with the Publishing House 
of the Southern Methodist Church. Dr. Stone maintains resi- 
dence in Chicago and Dr. Whitmore in Nashville but their 
supervision of the work of the Publishing House is a joint task. 



A Dream — A bird dropped an acorn in an Evanston yard 
where it was found by an enterprising housewife who picked 
it up and planted it in a flower pot. Later it was given a 
sunny spot in her garden and carefully watered. It is growing 
steadily and promises to become an oak. 

God planted a dream in the heart of a gifted young wo- 
man. She nurtured it, lived for it with complete abandon and 
finally it grew into forty institutions. Lucy Rider was a Bible 
lecturer and a Sunday School field worker who saw that there 
was no institution in which women might train for professional 
Christian service. It became to her a call of God and she 
started a Training School for City, Home and Foreign Missions. 

Such an enterprise was a new idea to American Metho- 
dists and it proved difficult to project it into the common 
mind. Good people said "women haven't enough brains to 
study theology." 'Those who have sufficient brains will not 
come to such a training school." "No place to work will be 
found for those who take such training." Lucy Rider, how- 
ever, was not easily baffled. She agitated until Dr. M. M. Park- 
hurst and a few other Methodist ministers became mildly in- 
terested and finally arranged to have her present the scheme 
to the Chicago Preachers' Meeting, but nothing came of it. 

Romance Aids High Adventure — Romance came to the 

aid of the dreamer. A Y. M. C. A. worker with extra-ordin- 
ary business ability and a #reat faith in God wooed Lucy 
Rider and won her hand. She soon convinced her young hus- 
band, Josiah Shelley Meyer, of the feasibility of her project 
and the two devoted their lives to the enterprise. A lukewarm 
preachers' meeting committee ventured to underwrite the first 
month's rent — $50.00 — for a training school if the Meyers 
would undertake the enterprise without any further guar- 
antee. With this slight encouragement the two undaunted 
high adventurers launched their project. On a rainy Saturday 
afternoon Mr. Meyer rode with the driver on a dray which 
brought their few belongings to 50 W. Park Avenue. Mrs. 
Meyer traveled by street car. They found the place dingy 
and dirty. They swept and scrubbed and with their own hands 
pulled up the carpet tacks left by the former occupants. They 
used a packing box for a table and another for an office desk. 
Mrs. Meyer pinned on a wall a sheet of paper announcing the 
curriculum. The school opened on October 20, 1885 with four 


students. An opening reception was announced. The enthus- 
iastic founders prepared for two hundred guests, but lo, only 
twelve appeared. Yet they had their reception and made the 
most of it. 

The first month soon rolled by and the rent for the second 
month had to be found. This was made the subject of daily 
prayer by the school family and behold, on the day that the 
rent was due, Dr. M. E. Cady, pastor of Western Avenue 
Church, called. He brought the Thanksgiving collection of 
that church, amounting to $21.08, saying that he knew of no 
worthier place to put this offering to work than the new school. 
This gift enabled them to pay the second month's rent. 

From Dimes to Dollars— Mr. and Mrs. Meyer did not 
depend solely upon the efficacy of family prayers for the 
wherewithal to conduct their school. They started a paper, 
"The Messenger" and sent it out by the thousands all over the 
church acquainting people with the enterprise and appealing 
for funds. One scheme almost got them into trouble. Mrs. 
Meyer proposed that they send out letters to a hundred people 
asking each to send the school a dime and then to write three 
letters to other friends asking those friends to send dimes to 
the Training School and to write three more letters. This 
started one of the first successful "chain letters." Soon the 
returns came in, first by the score, then by hundreds and finally 
by the bushel baskets full. The postal authorities became very 
impatient but the scheme netted the school $10,032.80. 

Another interesting scheme was the solicitation of funds by 
means of pledge books. Friends were asked to secure signa- 
tures, each signer to pay five cents toward the expenses of the 
school. There is still under glass in the Training School office 
one of these subscription books with the signatures of Mr. N. 
W. Harris and Mrs. N. W. Harris, each of whom contributed 
five cents. Before long, however, this elect couple became the 
generous patrons of the Training School. This Nickel Fund 
brought in about $3000.00. 

Sixteen students enrolled during the first year, but the in- 
stitution was at once such an outstanding success that it won 
devoted friends and before the year closed its promoters felt 
justified in soliciting funds for a school building. A Board of 
Trustees was organized and the corner of Dearborn and Ohio 
Streets purchased. On this property in the late summer of 1886 
the first home of the Training School was erected. The building- 
could not be completed as soon as the Meyers had hoped for 
and they were unable to occupy it until the first of December. 
They were so anxious, however, to get started that they moved 
in before the plaster was dry or hardware provided for doors 


and windows. The cellar way was still an open hole and forth- 
with a hapless student tumbled down. 

By the year 1894 the Training School building at Dear- 
born and Ohio Streets proved inadequate and with the aid of 
Mr. and Mrs. N. W. Harris, a site was secured at the corner 
of 50th and Indiana and in 1895 the first unit of the well known 
Chicago Training School property was erected at 4949 In- 
diana Avenue. Another unit was added in 1905 and in 1910 
Mr. Harris donated the commodious Norman Wait Harris 
Chapel. At about the same time Miss Cordelia Monnett con- 
tributed funds for memorial dormitories across the street 
which have been put to good use throughout the years. These 
were known as Kinnear and Monnett Halls. 

Forty Institutions — The development of the work thus 
begun was amazing. During the first year eager students 
were sent out to do field work for city churches. The re- 
sults were phenomenal and several pastors insisted upon 
the continuance of this visitation work during the summer. 
Eight devoted young women remained and worked without 
compensation, the Training School providing board and room. 
At the opening of the next year these workers were crowded 
out of the school quarters. That led to the organization of the 
Chicago Deaconess Home in 1887. 

Other developments followed in quick succession. Chicago 
had as yet no visiting nurses. The field workers of the school 
found many sick folk who needed care but professional nurses 
were unwilling to enter the homes of the sick poor. So Mr. 
and Mrs. Meyer decided to start a little hospital of their own 
in the Training School building in order to train Christian 
nurses who might be willing to work among the poor. They 
vacated a few rooms and sent out notices to half a dozen 
physicians that beds were available at the Training School for 
patients unable to pay for hospital service. That was the be- 
ginning of Wesley Memorial Hospital. Mrs. Meyer, herself an 
M. D., was the first resident physician of that hospital and Dr. 
I. N. Danforth the head of the embryonic staff. This hospital 
recently laid the corner stone for a three million dollar build- 

Homeless old people who did not belong in the crowded 
poor house of that day were found by the school visitors. The 
need of care for the aged pressed upon the Training School 
founders and with the help of Mr. William Bush and others, 
the Chicago Methodist Old People's Home was founded. 

One day a scrub woman at the Chicago and Northwest- 
ern Station noticed a forlorn boy of seven years running about 
the station. He had a tag around his neck asking that he be 


delivered to the Chicago Training School. This woman daily 
passed the Training School on her way to work and when she 
went home that night she took the lad along, knocked at the 
Training School door and shoved him in. This and similar 
experiences led ultimately to the founding of the Lake Bluff 
Orphange. In short, through the Training School and its 
students, during the first thirty years, forty new institutions 
were either founded or staffed. Hospitals, orphanges, baby 
folds, old people's homes, deaconess homes, working girls' 
homes, rest homes and training schools were some of the tan- 
gible results of this high adventure. 

Such achievements were made possible by the sacrificial 
cooperation of many laymen. Among these were Mr. and Mrs. 
N. W. Harris, William Bush, James B. Hobbs, George D. Elder- 
kin, W. E. Blackstone and Judge 0. H. Horton. Morever, Mr. 
and Mrs. Meyer were assisted by a group of devoted workers, 
some of whom gave more than a score of years to the Train- 
ing School ; among them Miss Esther E. Bjornberg, our pres- 
ent registrar, Miss Belle L. James, our secretary and Miss D. 
Olive Shoenberger, a gifted teacher. 

There was no money for salaries so the entire staff of the 
Training School, made up of self sacrificing and competent 
workers, received and accepted only the meager deaconess al- 
lowance of that day, from $8.00 to $15.00 per month with room 
and board. The founders of the school, though without 
means of their own, were determined to share fully with their 
loyal co-workers and contented themselves each with a dea- 
coness allowance and expenses. 

The need of adequate training for missionaries was soon 
discovered in the training school so this became one of the first 
objectives of the new venture. Over five hundred foreign mis- 
sionaries have gone out from this school. 

In 1888 Mrs. Meyer was one of the leaders of the new 
deaconess movement. In fact, she has been called "the Mother 
of Methodist Deaconess Work" in America. Over one thou- 
sand deaconesses were trained in this institution. 

In the nineties the Social Service Movement gripped the 
church. The Training School became a veritable dynamo of 
social passion and supplied enthusiastic workers in that field. 
Following 1910 the Religious Education Movement came to 
the front and the school was a pioneer along this line. 

Reorganization — In 1917, after a third of a century of 
creative activity, Mr. and Mrs. Meyer recognized that the 
time for retirement had come. Under the efficient leadership 
of Bishop Thomas Nicholson, the school was reorganized and 


Louis F. W. Lesemann, the District Superintendent of the 
Chicago Northwestern District, was elected president upon 
nomination of the Meyers. On a memorable inaugural occas- 
ion, the keys of the school were turned over by Mrs. Meyer to 
Dr. Lesemann who has been the head of the institution ever 
since, guiding the school through two reorganizations. 

In 1920 the Training School opened its doors to men de- 
siring to prepare themselves for Christian service. A Pre- 
paratory Department was also organized in order to enable 
those who had not had the opportunity in earlier years to 
meet entrance requirements. The academic standards of the 
school were gradually raised and the institution attracted not 
only high school but also college graduates. During the Cen- 
tenary campaign and in later years the financial status of the 
School was gradually improved and though the work of the in- 
stitution shifted with the march of time, the spirit and devo- 
tion of earlier days was largely maintained. 

Affiliation With Garrett — With the advance of educa- 
tional standards, the increase in the cost of maintenance 
and the effect of the depression, affiliation with a stronger 
institution appeared highly desirable. Likewise a change in 
location on account of the deterioration of the Training School 
neighborhood became almost imperative. Garrett Biblical 
Institute was obviously the logical school with which the Chi- 
cago Training School might affiliate. For years there had 
been a cordial relation between Garrett and the Training 
School. The administrators of both institutions saw that there 
was much overlapping of curricula and that a considerable 
saving of overhead expense might be eliminated if the two 
institutions were brought under the same roof. It also became 
apparent that the affiliation might prove an advantage to both 
institutions in other respects. After careful consideration of 
the whole matter extending over a period of years, the two 
Boards of Trustees decided to affiliate the institutions in 
April, 1934. 

The set up is rather unique. It was agreed — 

1) that the Chicago Training School should be housed 
in the Garrett Buildings and that one of the dormitories should 
become the Women's Dormitory. 

2) that the Chicago Training School should maintain 
its independent organization and control its own assets, but 
that there should be a joint educational program directed by a 
Board of Managers composed of representatives of both in- 

3) that the Training School contribute to the extent of 
its ability to the joint educational enterprise. 


4) that the two schools maintain the same academic 
standards on a strictly graduate level. 

5) that all women should enroll in the Chicago Training 
School and that all courses of Garrett should be open to Train- 
ing School students; in effect, making the Chicago Training 
School the Women's Department of Garrett. 

6) that the president and registrar of the Chicago Train- 
ing School become members of the faculty of Garrett. 

This affiliation went into effect in the fall of 1934 and 
has proven of signal benefit to both institutions. It enables 
the Training School to offer to its students at least three times 
as many privileges and opportunities as was possible on the 
South Side. These women students share fully in the social 
and intellectual life of Garrett and the cultural and education- 
al privileges which Evanston affords. Moreover the cost of 
training has been actually reduced because the Training School 
students now pay the same fees as Garrett students and, as is 
well known, theological seminaries make the expenses of their 
students nominal. Added to this are all the benefits of the 
close cooperation which for years has been maintained between 
Garrett and the Northwestern University. The Training 
School students now enjoy these substantial privileges equally 
with the Garrett students. 

The three schools, Garrett, Northwestern University and 
the Training School, now jointly offer training in preparation 
for professional work in 

religious education 
missionary service 
pastor's assistant activities 
church social work 
the ministry. 

The curricula of the cooperating schools provide courses 
in Old and New Testament, Technique of Religious Education, 
Church Methods, Personal Counseling, Social Work, History 
of Christianity, Philosophy of Religion and Theology, Missions 
and Field Work. 

Qualified students with aptitude for practical Christian 
w T ork may earn the 

Professional Certificate of the Chicago Training School 
with a minimum of 12 majors 

Master of Arts Degree granted by Northwestern Univer- 
sity with a minimum of 26 semester hours 

Bachelor of Divinity Degree granted by Garrett Biblical 
Institute with a minimum of 31 majors. 

The majority of the women enrolled in the Chicago Train- 


ing School work for both the Professional Certificate of the 
Training School and a Master's Degree granted by North- 
western University. In addition to those working for a diploma 
or a degree as directors of religious education or pastor's as- 
sistants, special attention is given to prospective missionaries, 
furloughed missionaries and to the wives of the men prepar- 
ing for the ministry at Garrett. 

The Alumni Association of the school heartily endorses 
the affiliation with Garrett and interests itself in increasing 
the amount available for scholarship purposes. Such aid, to- 
gether with the splendid opportunities for self help which 
Evanston provides, opens the door to worthy students with 
limited means. 

Special credit for the success of the affiliation is due to 
Dr. Horace G. Smith, president of Garrett, Mr. E. O. Loucks, 
attorney of Garrett, Dr. Fred D. Stone, president of the Board 
of Trustees of the Training School and Louis F. W. Lesemann, 
director of the Chicago Training School. All of the trustees 
of both institutions entered into these important arrange- 
ments with open minds and gave them their hearty support. 
The Training School also gratefully recognizes the splendid 
spirit of cooperation on the part of the faculty and students 
of Garrett. 

Future- — On account of the high academic standards 
now in force making college graduation an entrance require- 
ment for all regular students, the student body of the Training 
School, since its affiliation with Garrett, has never been as 
large as it was on the South Side, but the intellectual prepara- 
tion of the student group has, on the whole, been notably in- 
creased. Our women are preparing adequately for leadership 
in the new woman's movement of the church which has taken 
on added importance because of Methodist Unification and the 
organization of the Woman's Society of Christian Service. 

This school, which has for fifty years adjusted itself to the 
march of time, will strive in the future, as in the past, to carry 
out its pledge 

To hold sacred the traditions of the School; 

To work to make the present excel the past, and 

To make the dreams of its founders come true; 

To search for truth and its application to human life ; 

To exalt it by the power of a blameless life ; 

To glorify Christ our Saviour and to aid in extending 
His Kingdom; 

To pass on undimmed its torch of love and service. 

Dr. Louis F. W. Lesemann, director of the Chicago Train- 


ing School for the last twenty-four years, died April 22, 1941, 
just after he had completed the manuscript for this article. 
His death marks the end of a distinguished career in the 
Methodist ministry as well as one of unique service in the field 
of Christian education. In recent years he had skillfully di- 
rected this institution through a series of far-reaching 
changes. Fortunately he lived to see the opening of what he 
believed to be a new chapter in the training of women for pro- 
fessional service as religious workers. Like a wise master 
builder, he had laid a good foundation. Others who follow 
after him will build upon this foundation the greater and 
richer program of which he had dreamed. This great servant 
of God is gone but his work will go on and On and ON. 



In this building at the northwest corner of Dearborn and Ohio streets, 
the home of The Chicago Training School for City, Home, and Foreign 
Missions, Wesley Hospital received its first patient, Mrs. Hattie Dewar, 
Christmas Day, 1888. 




Small Beginnings 

Following the disastrous Chicago Fire, October 9, 1871, it 
was very evident that the community's facilities for the care 
of the destitute sick were woefully inadequate. For more than 
fifteen years after the fire the fact that something must be 
done to relieve this pitiable need was an ever-present thought 
among the physicians and surgeons of Chicago. One of them, 
Dr. Isaac N. Danforth, one of Chicago's most prominent men 
and a member of Centenary Methodist Church, persistently 
presenting this picture before the churches and the public, left 
no stone unturned. Eventually he secured the cooperation of 
The Chicago Training School for City, Home, and Foreign 
Missions, which was under the able management of Rev. J. 
Shelley Meyer and his wife, Lucy Rider Meyer. 

Northwestern University and its medical school, together 
with the Association of Methodist Ministers and Laymen, and 
individual Methodist physicians and surgeons rallied to Dr. 
Danforth's assistance. The names of Robert D. Fowler, Har- 
low N. Higinbotham, Rev. Luke Hitchcock, D. D., Rev. Charles 
G. Truesdell, D. D., Hon. Edmund W. Burke, Charles Busby, 
James B. Hobbs, James S. Harvey, J. Shelley Meyer, and 
others, appear repeatedly down through the years on the rec- 
ords of enthusiastic men who responded. In the autumn of 
1888 this group of men held their first meeting in the Sher- 
man House, Chicago, Illinois, September 9th, a meeting which 
resulted in the incorporation of Wesley Hospital, October 26, 

Items two and three of the charter establish the object 
and the method of management as follows : 

"2 — The object for which it is founded is to main- 
tain a hospital in the city of Chicago, Illinois, for the 
gratuitous treatment of the medical and surgical dis- 
eases of the sick poor. 

"3 — The management of the aforesaid Wesley 
Hospital shall be vested in a Board of thirty trustees, 
one third of whom are to be elected annually, nine of 
whom shall constitute a quorum to do business — " 

The Methodist Church was not mentioned in the charter, 
but the by-laws established the Hospital's character by speci- 


fying that seven of ten trustees elected annually were to be 


In his History of Wesley Hospital Dr. I. N. Danforth 

makes the following statements : 

On August 19, 1888, a thunder storm having de- 
tained Mr. Robert D. Fowler and his wife at the Lake 
Bluff cottage (of Dr. and Mrs. Danforth) , just as they 
were preparing to leave, Dr. Danforth seized that op- 
portunity to tell Mr. Fowler the story of his own 
thwarted ambitions, of his keen, all-consuming de- 
sire to organize a Methodist hospital. 

Dr. Danforth had met so many rebuffs in these many 
years following the Chicago Fire his heart held no reassuring 
encouragement for success, but evidently he believed in try- 
ing every door. This door was unlocked. Mr. Fowler met Dr. 
Danforth more than half way and soon the two men had plan- 
ned a program for furthering the great work. Mr. H. N. 
Higinbotham was to be approached, asked to meet and consult 
with them at his expressed convenience. Mr. Higinbotham 
extended a prompt and cordial invitation to these gentlemen 
to come the following Friday evening to his home. A follow- 
ing consultation with Rev. Luke Hitchcock, D. D., and Rev. C. 
G. Truesdell, D. D., Presiding Elder of the Chicago district at 
that time, brought about an invitation to various persons, who, 
it was deemed, would be friendly to the establishment of a 
Methodist hospital, which resulted in a call meeting at the 
Sherman House on the evening of September 8, 1888. 

This apparently was the first official meeting for the or- 
ganization of Wesley Hospital. 

The following morning, September 9, 1888, the Chicago 
Inter-Ocean contained a report of the proceedings of that 

The following trustees were chosen at the second meet- 
ing held September 29, 1888, and the first meeting of the trus- 
tees was held November 10, 1888. 
William Deering James B. Hobbs 

Robert D. Fowler Isaac N. Danforth 

Edmund W. Burke Luke Hitchcock 

George D. Elderkin James S. Harvey 

Charles G. Truesdell Milton H. Wilson 

Charles B. Eggleston Matson Hill 

Josiah M. Fleming William H. Rand 

Frank M. Bristol Charles Busby 

Norman W. Harris Horace Goodrich 

William E. Blackstone Oliver H. Horton 

Emanuel Honsinger Hiram J. Thompson 

Abraham H. Benson Lester L. Bond 

Mark P. Hatfield Robert D. Sheppard 

Henry G. Jackson David R. Dyche 

James L. Whitlock Charles E. Mandeville 


Mr. George D. Elderkin was appointed Chairman of the 
Board of Trustees and Dr. Marcus P. Hatfield was appointed 
Secretary. The chairman issued a call for the first meeting 
of the executive committee to be held at the parlors of the 
Grand Pacific Hotel on Tuesday, November 13, 1888, at 4:00 P. 
M. sharp. All members were present except Mr. Hiram J. 
Thompson. A committee was appointed to draft a constitu- 
tion and by-laws: these were Rev. C. G. Truesdell, D. D., Dr. 
I. N. Danforth, and Dr. M. P. Hatfield. Messrs. Dyche, Elder- 
kin, and Whitlock were appointed a standing committee on 
hospital location and grounds. 

The executive committee meeting was held November 27, 
1888, at the Grand Pacific Hotel for the purpose of meeting a 
committee representing the Woman's Medical College of Chi- 
cago, consisting of Drs. D. R. Brower, D. W. Graham, and 
Charles W. Earle. This committee presented a proposition 
made by the Women's Medical College, which was a request 
for affiliation but the request came to naught after the board 
of trustees had considered the question. 

At the meeting of the executive committee held Decem- 
ber 7, 1888, a communication which had been received from Dr. 
J. R. Kewley of the Lakeside Sanitarium of Chicago, offering 
a cooperative proposition was discussed. This, also, came to 

There undoubtedly must have been something especially 
convincing of a future success in the "set-up" of the Hospital, 
even in its infancy, that these various corporations wooed it, 
as they did. The Northwestern University had been fully 
aware something new had come to town. And Wesley Hospi- 
tal wasn't unaware it had drawn the attention of the Univer- 
sity, so it thanked the Women's Medical College and the Lake- 
side Sanitarium and asked for more time in which to consider 
their proposals. Then it waited for Northwestern University 
to come out into the open. The union finally consummated 
on April 26, 1891 needs no pen to tell its story. 

In 1885 The Chicago Training School for City, Home, and 
Foreign Missions was occupying a dwelling at 19 Park Avenue. 
In 1886 they were located at the northwest corner of Dearborn 
and Pine Streets ; and in 1888 moved again, this time to a home 
at the corner of Dearborn and Ohio Streets. They were at this 
last address when they responded to Dr. Danforth's appeal 
and agreed "to loan" him three rooms for hospital purposes 
and "to engage in nursing" for him, acknowledging that this 
opportunity for the deaconesses to obtain training under medi- 
cal supervision was of material benefit to their school. 

It was to this home that Dr. Danforth sent the first pa- 


tient, Mrs. Hattie Dewar, on Christmas Day of 1888. Mrs. 
Dewar was suffering from inflammatory rheumatism. She 
was discharged, cured, February 7, 1889. 

Throughout this period Rev. J. Shelley Meyer and his 
wife, Lucy Rider Meyer, gave their supervision unstintedly to 
make a success of this venture. They enlisted the services of 
Rev. Meyer's youthful nephew, Thomas Kleyensteuber which, 
it is safe to infer, being familiar with the financial condition, 
could hardly be classed as nepotism. As early as 1888 young 
Thomas was chore boy, which position he outgrew, and re- 
turned to the Hospital in 1901 as Chief Engineer, which posi- 
tion he still holds. 

A record written in her later years by Mrs. Meyer relates 
the advent of the first hospital baby. The deaconesses and 
Mrs. Meyer, anticipating, had named the child John Wesley 
Lentz, but, under the Creator's dispensation, changed the name 
to Susannah Wesley Lentz. 

At the meeting of the executive committee held January 
2, 1889, at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Dr. Danforth reported two 
patients were being cared for at the Training School "at a 
great inconvenience to the regular work of the deaconesses" 
and that it was "pressingly necessary the sick should be cared 
for elsewhere." 

At a meeting of the Executive committee held at the 
Sherman House, January 9, 1889, both Mr. George D. Elder- 
kin and Dr. Danforth urged the necessity of removing the two 
patients from the Training School: "that it is greatly the pref- 
erence of the School that permanent quarters be provided for 
them elsewhere." 

The alluring privilege of obtaining a nurses' training un- 
der a medical staff so enhanced the educational advantages of- 
fered by the Training School that its student body had been 
rapidly increasing in numbers and the school needed larger 
quarters for its own purposes. 

The air castles or dreams which Dr. Danforth had visioned 
those many years were gradually assuming shape. There 
were set-backs and moments of discouragement but each was 
met and overcome as the occasion arrived. 

At the meeting on January 9th, Mr. George D. Elderkin 
further reported that he had found a house suitable for hospi- 
tal purposes at 355 East Ohio Street and advised its immed- 
iate rental and occupation. At a joint meeting of the executive 
committee and the board of trustees on January 19, 1889, $2,- 
000.00 was pledged and the committee authorized "to hire a 
building and begin hospital work as soon as possible." 

On February 1, 1889, the dwelling at 355 East Ohio Street 


was secured at a monthly rental of $65.00. It was a three story 
and basement brick building of twelve rooms in which accom- 
modation was found for fourteen beds for patients, house- 
keeping quarters, and rooms for the nurses. On February 27, 
1889, the first superintendent of nurses, Miss E. J. McBurnie, 
a deasoness, was appointed and Miss A. E. Cox was engaged 
as housekeeper. These women were "given a home, such board 
as the Lord might provide, and the payment of necessary car- 

At a meeting of the board of trustees held on March 20, 
1889, the following officers were appointed to the medical 
government of the Hospital: 


Dr. Nathan S. Davis, Sr. Dr. E. O. T. Roler 

Dr. W. H. Byford Dr. R. G. Bogue 

Dr. M. P. Hatfield Dr. R. Ludlam (Homeopathist) 


Dr. Isaac N. Danforth Dr. Charles W. Earle 

Dr. Mark P. Hatfield Dr. F. C. Schaefer 


Dr. Rosa Engleman Dr. Flora Lorman 

From the opening of the Hospital in 1888 until March 20, 
1889, twenty-one patients had been treated. Dr. Danforth's ac- 
count relates that ''nine were discharged cured or improved; 
twelve yet in the Hospital; no deaths — yet". Up to this date 
"no adequate provision had been made for male patients or 
emergency cases." 

Between February 1, 1889, and October 15, 1889, ninety 
different patients occupied those fourteen beds. About thirty 
were pay patients who were charged from $3.00 to $10.00 per 
week. Sixty of those ninety patients were charity cases. The 
general superintendent was Rev. J. Shelley Meyer. 

The untiring efforts of Drs. Danforth and Hatfield, so en- 
thusiastically backed by the Ladies Aid Association of the 
Methodist churches, made of this experiment eventually an 
unbelievable, monumental success. Mrs. Elizabeth Shelton Dan- 
forth, wife of Dr. Isaac N., organized the Ladies Aid Asso- 
ciation and was president of the society until her death in 1895. 
Mrs. Arthur Edwards was corresponding secretary and Mrs. 
Mark P. Hatfield an ardent worker. In a short time the secre- 
tary's report showed "a membership of more than 200 women." 
The rapid growth of the Association indicates the earnest en- 
deavor of these women, each of whom related the story to 
some friend who was a member of a church as yet "un-enlist- 
ed." Dr. Danforth endowed 'The Elizabeth Room" in mem- 
ory of his wife (1895). 



When Mr. George D. Elderkin, chairman of the executive 
committee of Wesley Hospital, made his first annual report in 
November 1889, he emphasized the crowded conditions already 
existing in the Ohio Street house and the need of more beds and 
more spacious quarters ; following which a second dwelling at 
357 East Ohio street, adjoining the first, was leased, which 
doubled the capacity adding fifteen more beds. 

The superintendent of nurses, Miss McBurnie went to 
China for missionary work and was succeeded by Miss Mary 
E. Simonds under whom the first and second classes of nurses 

This building at 355-357 East Ohio Street was occupied by Wesley Hos- 
pital from February, 1889, until November, 1891. 

(Photograph by Mr. Hubert C. Hodek.) 



were graduated. The first class was composed of three deacon- 
esses who graduated in 1890: Margaret A. Cox, Elizabeth 
Caldbeck, and Emma A. Davis. They were the fore-runners of 
more than one thousand nurses to be graduated from Wesley 
from its founding until 1935 when the school was temporarily 

An Era of Expansion 

On April 18,1890, the board of trustees decided to erect a 
new building at the northeast corner of Dearborn and 25th 
Streets, adjoining the grounds of the Chicago Medical School, 
which latter soon afterwards became the Medical Department 
of Northwestern University. On November 1, 1891, this new 
building with room for twenty-five hospital beds and adminis- 
trative quarters was ready for occupancy. 

Covering a period of ten years (1890-1900) the little 25 
bed hospital served its purpose well, aided by the ever increas- 
ing medical staff and the inspired assistance of the Ladies Aid 
Association, now called the Woman's Auxiliary Board and 
under the able leadership of Mrs. Bishop O. Lovejoy. The first 

This was the first permanent building used and occupied by Wesley 
Hospital at the northeast corner of Dearborn and 25th streets. 


two hundred members represent only a small quota of the 
organization's present day roll of honor. 

In 1900 the first two wings of the present building were 
in process of erection. About June 27, 1901, the patients were 
carefully removed from the smaller building into the new six 
story quarters and the smaller house became a home for the 
nurses until the spring of 1906 when the Harris Home for 
Nurses (a gift of Mr. N. W. Harris) at 2342-2344 South Dear- 
born Street was completed and occupied. The little old first 
building was converted to domestic uses. 

Throughout these twelve years from 1888 to 1901 it was 
not only in the habitations of Wesley Hospital that changes 
were taking place. Old servitors were being replaced by young 
service men and women in every department. 

The medical staff was no longer of modest proportion. 
Some of the most noted men of this country, and foreign men, 
noted specialists, honored Wesley with their presence. Wes- 
ley's staff met them all on an equal footing. Wesley Hospital 
is justified in the pride with which it boasts of its medical 
staff. In its fifty-two years it has never lowered the standard 
established by Drs. Danforth and Hatfield. It is not possible 
to include here the names of all those worthy of recognition 
but selecting only a few names not already mentioned to be 
seen upon Wesley's roll of honor corroborates and justifies 
this pride. 

Robert Blue, M. D. Ophthalmologist 

Achilles Davis, M. D. Physician 

Arthur R. Edwards, M. D. Pathologist 

Charles A. Elliott, M. D. Physician 

Allen B. Kanavel, M. D. Surgeon 

John B. Murphy, M. D. Surgeon 

Lucius C. Pardee, M D. Dermatologist 

Hugh T. Patrick, M. D. Neurologist 

Charles B. Reed, M. D, Obstetrician 

John Ridlon, M. D. Orthopoedist 

William E. Schroeder, M. D. Surgeon 

Weller Van Hook, M. D. Surgeon 

Thomas J. Watkins, M. D. Gynecologist 

George W. Webster, M. D. Physician 

W. H. Wilder, M. D. Oculist 

Charles B. Younger, M. D. Nose and Throat 

Albert B. Yudelson, M. D. Neurologist 

The executive staff had seen changes. The first super- 
intendent of the Hospital, Rev. J. Shelley Meyer, gave unstin- 
tingly of time and strength from the time the Hospital's door 
opened in 1888 until 1895. His successor, Mr. James S. Har- 
vey, for six years (1895-1901) was faithful, loyal, and untiring 
to the Hospital's interests. Mr. Perley Lowe, of whom we will 
speak at greater length later, became a member of the board 
of trustees in 1894, a short time before Mr. Harvey became 


superintendent. In his reminiscences Mr. Lowe speaks in terms 
of praise of Mr. Harvey's regime. It was during Mr. Harvey's 
administration that the first two wings of the present building 
were planned and erected. 

When the two new wings were ready for occupancy other 
changes were made ; in the medical staff, in the executive staff, 
and in the nursing department. For five years following (1901- 
1906) the Hospital was under the supervision of the dea- 
conesses. Those were years of anxiety, of financial weakness. 
A. Dudley Jackson, M. D. became acting superintendent in 
1903, later received the appointment of superintendent and re- 
mained in office until April, 1908. Dr. Jackson's invariable 
courtesy, interested attentiveness, cheerful manner, well fitted 
him for his chosen profession. His rearing in the home of a 
Methodist minister, Rev. Henry G. Jackson, by a mother whose 
beautiful disposition was a frequent and entertaining topic 
of his occasional conversational moments, had not prepared him 
to cope with the destructive element which was undermining 
the institution when he became Superintendent. Among the 
thirty trustees there was one who corresponded to a virulent 
germ innoculating the human system. 

At this time, working hand-in-glove with Dr. Jackson, was 
Mr. Perley Lowe. As eager as the superintendent to diagnose 
the case, Mr. Lowe set his keen, analytical business mind to 
work, and, using the business man's knowledge that trust is 
more often betrayed than any other virtue, ran the quarry 
down, held it up for the inspection of the other members of the 
board, and in the resulting betterment of the Hospital's con- 
dition showed he had not pulled the wrong tooth. 

This operation left an office vacant on the board which 
no member wanted to take time to fill. Laying aside all personal 
desire pulling in the opposite direction, Mr. Lowe stepped into 
the vacancy in order to save Wesley. It was never Mr. Lowe's 
way to start something he couldn't finish. Every man on the 
Board knew this and became at ease. 

No pen could enumerate the sacrifices Mr. Lowe made 
from this period until the day of his death to keep Wesley 
Hospital out of financial and managerial difficulties. 

It was about this period that Mr. Frederick J. Thielbar 
became a member of the board upon the recommendation of 
Mr. Lowe and these many years since that day testify for the 
wisdom of his choice. 

Throughout the Hospital's career, from the day of its foun- 
dation, several names were associated with Wesley's board of 
trustees which deserve more space than may be given here, 


among them Mr. William Deering and Mr. Norman W. Harris. 
Mr. Deering's friendly letters to Mr. Lowe throughout the lat- 
ter's presidency are carefully filed with Wesley's records. 
Filled as they are with loving, humane sympathy and sugges- 
tions, with solicitous words of encouragement to his fellow 
worker, a reader can visualize those two fine men standing 
shoulder to shoulder for Wesley's interests. Mr. Deering's con- 
tributions and donations made it possible for Wesley to carry 

Wesley's records note: "Credit for the financial assis- 
tance to found the Hospital is given to Mr. William Deering." 
Following his death his son, James, in 1914, in memory of his 
father and deceased sister, Mrs. Abby Deering Howe, gave the 
Hospital an endowment of one million dollars, at which time the 
name was changed from Wesley Hospital to Wesley Memorial 
Hospital and a close affiliation with Northwestern University 
was effected, with a greatly increased field of service. Another 
son of Mr. William Deering, Charles, presented the Hospital, 
upon separate occasions, all the land on the west side of south 
State Street between 24th and 25th streets, and funds amount- 
ing to $340,000.00. 

Mr. Norman W. Harris, generous from the Hospital's foun- 
dation with cash contributions and donations, gave the Harris 
Home for Nurses, built at cost of $30,000.00, to Wesley. The 
Ladies Aid Society furnished the home and the nurses moved 
from their cramped quarters in 1906 to comfortable modern 
ease. Mr. N. W. Harris' benevolences were fore-runners of later 
day benefits conferred by his daughter and her husband, Mr. 
M. Haddon Mac Lean, Vice President of the Harris Trust & 
Savings Bank, and treasurer of Wesley Memorial Hospital. 

Mr. Gustavus F. Swift and his wife, Mrs. Annie M. Swift, 
have bestowed benefits upon Wesley from its earlier years. 
Since her husband's death the amount of Mrs. Annie M. Swift's 
donations has been well in excess of one hundred thousand 

Too much honor could not be paid to the memory of Mr. 
Arthur Dixon, his wife, Mrs. Annie (Carson) Dixon, both de- 
ceased, and to their several sons and daughters and their 
children. Following in his father's footsteps, the services of 
George W. Dixon, Sr. as trustee and, later, as president of Wes- 
ley, were too numerous to make a complete accounting. Down 
through the Hospital's records the pages of each annual report 
credit benevolent contributions to the account of Mr. George 
W. Dixon. During the fourteen years as Wesley's president his 
cheerful, friendly personality, a family attribute, became so 



closely knit into the Hospital's history it is difficult to disasso- 
ciate the man and the institution. In the same ratio is the per- 
sonalty of his wife, Mrs. Marion (Martin) Dixon, woven into 
the Woman's Auxiliary of Wesley during her eighteen years as 
president. It is impossible to place, in words, an account val- 
uation upon the "services rendered" to Wesley by these two 
loyal friends. After Mrs. Dixon's death in 1926, Mr. Dixon 
gave, in honor of her memory, $20,000.00 toward Wesley's 
Endowment Fund. 

Mr. William Dixon, Wesley's counsel and a trustee, ano- 
ther son of Mr. Arthur Dixon, has served as Wesley's attorney 
gratuitously (paradoxical though that might seem) and fur- 
thermore has from his own pocket, paid many court fees which 
have come under his observations. Another brother, Homer L. 
Dixon; a sister, Mrs. Paul Walker; and George W. Dixon, Jr. 
(of the third generation) serve as Wesley's trustees. 

Wesley's ledgers show a multitude of other names worthy 
of mention including : 
Mr. and Mrs. Milton I*. Wilson Mr. Henry G. Eckstein 

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Kent Mrs. Robert S. Ingraham 

Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Hobbs Mr. William A. Fuller 

Mr. David Mills, of the Davella Mills Foundation. 

but insufficiency of space hinders further mention. 

Returning to the year 1903 the name of Miss Grace Ells- 
worth appears as Superintendent of nurses. She installed the 
three year term in the Training School. In 1905 her assistant, 
Miss Dorothea Burgess, succeeded Miss Ellsworth; Miss Bur- 

Wesley Hospital 1901-1910. Showing the first two wings of the present 
Hospital with the first permanent building in the foreground. The latter 
was razed in 1910 to make way for the completion of the last wing of the 
present building. 



gess resigned in 1906 and was followed by Miss Arietta Brode 
(a graduate of Wesley in 1901), who remained at Wesley until 
the autumn, 1908. 

In April, 1908, Mr. Eugene S. Gilmore succeeded Dr. Jack- 
son as superintendent. While it was not known at that par- 
ticular time, nor anticipated, following events marked this per- 
iod as an epochal era in Wesley's history. Mr. Gilmore's earlier 
business training had fitted him to cope with the problems to 
overcome. The team work of Mr. Perley Lowe and Mr. Eugene 
S. Gilmore was of a character seldom found in institutional 

Through Mr. Gilmore's personal efforts the Hospital bene- 
fited by gifts amounting to $90,000.00 toward the Endow- 
ment Fund and $80,000.00 toward the building of the new nur- 
ses' home. His sterling qualities were widely recognized and 
appreciated. He was past president and trustee of the Ameri- 
can Hospital Association ; vice-president of the Protestant Hos- 
pital Association; secretary and trustee of the Methodist Hos- 
pitals & Homes Association; trustee of the Jennings Semin- 
ary ; and of the Chicago Hospital Association ; and general con- 
sultant for architects, superintendents, etc., interested in plan- 
ning new hospitals. 



Through the portals of this building have passed nearly 200,000 
sick and injured guests of the Methodist Church. 


It was during this same period that the Wesley School of 
Nursing reached its place in the sun under the direction of 
Miss Bertha L. Knapp, R. N., who followed Miss Arietta Brode 
as superintendent of nurses, 1908. And, to assure these suc- 
cesses, in the administrative and nursing departments from 
the birth of the institution, the presidents and superintendents 
of Wesley Hospital have ever had, regimented behind them, 
Wesley Hospital's medical staff and Woman's Auxiliary. 

In 1929 Wesley suffered the loss of a large number of its 
medical staff to Passavant Hospital. Another great loss occur- 
red in 1931 when Mr. Gilmore passed away. These losses were 
doubly depressing because of the bad business conditions pre- 
vailing throughout the nation. 

Mr. Paul H. Fesler, then president of the American Hos- 
pital Association, was engaged as superintendent early in 1932 
and served until June, 1938. After Mr. Fesler's resignation 
Mr. Ernest R. Snyder, who has been with the Hospital since 
1905 and assistant superintendent since 1925, was appointed 
acting superintendent. 

Another auxiliary to the Hospital came into being when 
the Wesley Service Club was organized in 1935, Mrs. Felix Jan- 
sey, president, and in a short time achieved amazingly success- 
ful results. Although the outstanding interest of this young 
club is centered upon the children's department of Wesley, 
planning to decorate and furnish that department in the new 
hospital, other departments have profited through the club's 

Wesley Memorial Hospital's ability to serve the destitute sick 
as well as those of better circumstances was increased when, 
upon August 19, 1936, through the influence of Dr. Mark T. 
Goldstine, one of Wesley's staff and a member of the board 
of trustees, The Davella Mills Foundation Cancer Clinic was 
established at Wesley. 

A New Era Begins 

In 1935 Mr. Frederick J. Thielbar succeeded Mr. Dixon as 
president of Wesley Memorial Hospital. 

Coming to Wesley at its period of deepest anxiety, Mr. 
Thielbar has watched its growth these thirty five or more 
years. Today, in addition to gratitude for years of service, the 
Hospital owes to Mr. Thielbar a better expression of appre- 
ciation than words can convey for plans of Wesley's new home 
almost completed at Superior Street and Fairbanks Court than 
which no human architect has ever bettered. 

Could Drs. Danforth and Hatfield return and see the con- 





im w\ 




The corner-stone of this beautiful building, the first unit of the 
George Herbert Jones Hospital Center, was laid May 26, 1940. The occu- 
pancy date has been set for October 1, 1941. Superior Street, Fairbanks 
Court, and Chicago Avenue. 


summation of their 1888 dreams, they would not only question 
their own sanity but look around for Aladdin's lamp. 

Mr. Thielbar's plans were drawn to fulfil the magnificent 
benefaction conferred upon the Hospital by one of her trustees, 
Mr. George Herbert Jones, vice-president of Wesley Memorial 

In 1925 Wesley Memorial Hospital purchased approximate- 
ly 32,600 square feet of ground at the northwest corner of Su- 
perior Street and Fairbanks Court. In 1929 an additional plot of 
34,000 square feet was acquired from Northwestern University 
by perpetual lease adjacent to the Chicago Campus of the 
University. It is here that Mr. George Herbert Jones broke 
ground for the new hospital building on June 19, 1937, before 
a distinguished assemblage. 

After the foundation and sub-structure was completed 
work was halted for two years on account of business condi- 
tions but was resumed in April, 1940. 

On May 26, 1940, exercises for laying the corner-stone of 
the new hospital building were conducted before another dis- 
tinguished assemblage with president Thielbar presiding, Mr. 
Jones wielding the trowel, and Bishop Ernest Lynn Waldorf, a 
member of Wesley's executive committee, conducting the rit- 
ualistic service. The principal address was delivered by Dr. 
Franklin Bliss Snyder, president of Northwestern University, 
and trustee of Wesley. The response was made by Dr. Ray- 
mond W. McNealy, Chief of Wesley's medical staff, member of 
the special building and equipment fund committee, of the liai- 
son committee, and of the advisory committee. 

This magnificient building is scheduled for completion July 
1, 1941, and ready for occupancy a few months later. 

One of the most felicitous kindnesses ever conferred upon 
Wesley occurred when Mr. Jones' attention was directed to- 
ward the institution. 

Mr. George Herbert Jones was born in Brixton, England,, 
and was brought to Chicago by his father just before the 
great fire of 1871. Starting as office boy with Hall, Kimbark, 
& Company, iron merchants, he remained to become sales 
manager. In 1893 he was one of the organizers of the Inland 
Steel Company. He was the company's second president, 
serving in that capacity for eight years. Mr. Jones became 
a member of the Hospital's board of trustees in 1924 and Vice- 
President in 1931. 

In addition to earlier contributions of Mr. George Her- 
bert Jones, at a luncheon at the Union League Club of Chicago 
on October 14, 1936, in his honor, his magnificent donation of 
one million dollars to the new building fund of Wesley Mem- 



orial Hospital was publicly announced and in March, 1937, he 
increased this donation by another $500,000.00. To assure the 
positive accomplishment of building a new Wesley Memorial 
Hospital Mr. Jones augmented his previous benevolences with 
another donation in excess of one and one-half million dollars 
towards this fund early in 1940. 

The purpose of Mr. Jones and the trustees is that this new 
twenty story hospital with its five hundred thirty-five bed 
capacity constructed in the form of the letter X (to enable 
every room to have sunlight at some time of the day) and 
equipped with every modern device known to science shall 
be "a center from which will emanate knowledge concerning 
advances in medical science — a cathedral of healing." Associa- 
ted with Mr. Jones in this magnificent venture is his daughter, 
Mrs. Ruth Carolin (Jones) Jarratt. 


Since this history was written, William W. Dixon, Coun- 
sel, and George Herbert Jones, Vice-President, have passed 

Dr. Raymond W. McNealy has been appointed superin- 



Harold H. Anderson 
Irving S. Cutter, M. D. 
Mrs. William H. Dangel 
George W. Dixon, Jr. 
Homer L. Dixon 
E. Allen Frost 
Mark T. Goldstine, M. D. 
Norman Dwight Harris 
Thomas A. Harwood 
Mrs. Ruth J. Jarratt 
James S. Kemper 

Frederick J. Thielbar 
*George Herbert Jones 
Edwin L. Wagner 
*William W. Dixon 

Lester E. Lee 

Walker O. Lewis 

Gilbert H. Marquardt, M. D. 

Raymond W. McNealy, M. D. 

R. Frank Newhall 

Dr. Franklyn Bliss Snyder 

Thomas J. Thomas 

Rev. John Thompson, D. D. 

Bishop Ernest Lynn Waldorf 

Mrs. Paul Walker 

Harry L. Wells 

(Honorary) Dr. Walter Dill Scott 


Associate Superintendent 
Director of Nursing Service 

Raymond W. McNealy, M. D. 
Ernest R. Snyder 
Bertha L. Knapp, R. N. 
Rev. John H. DeLacy, D. D. 



Officers of 
Woman's Auxiliary Board 


First Vice President 
Second Vice President 
Third Vice President 
Recording Secretary 
Corresponding Secretary 
Asst. Corresponding Secretary 
Assistant Treasurer 

Mrs. Bishop Owen Love joy 

Mrs. R. A. Ryder 

Mrs. William H. Dangel 

Mrs. Paul Walker 

Mrs. J. E. Fluck 

Mrs. J. M. Lowery 

Mrs. M. L. Davis 

Mrs. Lewis B. Lott 

Mrs. Lydia Gibbon 

Officers of 
Wesley Service Club 


First Vice-President 

Second Vice-President 

Recording Secretary 

Corresponding Secretary 


Advisory Member 

Mrs. Felix Jansey 
Mrs. Gilbert H. Marquardt 
Miss Elizabeth Tuft 
Mrs. Frank Martin 
Mrs. Earl O. Latimer 
Mrs. Edwin A. Wegner 
Mrs. Mark T. Goldstine 


Gilbert H. Marquardt, M. D. Chief of Staff 

Gerard N. Krost, M. D. 
Frank L. Hussey, M. D. 


Alexander A. Goldsmith, M. D. 
Leon Unger, M. D. 
Gilbert H. Marquardt, M. D. 
J. Roscoe Miller, M. D. 
Joseph W. Stocks, M. D. 
Paul H. Shallenberger, M. D. 
Arthur H. Mahle, M. D. 
Albert H. Meier, M. D. 


Arthur W. Stillians, M. D. 
Edwin P. Zeisler, M. D. 
Harry M. Hedge, M. D. 


Gerard N. Krost, M. D. 
John A. Bigler, M. D. 
Franklin J. Corper, M. D. 
Otto E. Strohmeier, M. D. 

Vice Chief of Staff 


Raymond W. McNealy, M. D. 
Paul B. Magnuson, M. D. 
Philip H. Kreuscher, M. D. 
*William Miller, M. D. 
Guy S. Van Alstyne, M. D. 
Onis H. Horrall, M. D. 
Hayden E. E. Barnard, M. D. 
William A. Hendricks, M. D. 
Jerome E. Head, M. D. 
Samuel J. Fogelson, M. D. 
Norman G. Parry, M. D. 
Earl O. Latimer, M. D. 
Felix Jansey, M. D. 
Carl J. E. Helgeson, M. D. 
Hampar Kelikian, M. D. 
James K. Stack, M. D. 
Philip Shambaugh, M. D. 
William M. McMillan, M. D. 
Ralph F. MacDonald, M. D. 
Robert T. McElvenny, M. D. 


Lewis J. Pollock, M. D. 

Neuro- Surgery 

Loyal Davis, M. D. 


Clarence A. Neymann, M. D. 

Oral Surgery 

Frederick W. Merrifield. M. D. 



Plastic Surgery 

Joseph E. Schaefer, M. D. 

Dental Surgery 

Stanley W. Clark, D. D. S. 


Victor D. Lespinasse, M. D. 
Andrew McNally, M. D. 
Donald K. Hibbs, M. D. 
Victoire Lespinasse, M. D. 


William Alfred Mann, M. D. 
Philip D. O'Connor, M. D. 
George P. Guibor, M. D. 
Richard A. Perritt 
Irving Puntenney, M. D. 
Homer B. Field, M. D. 


Garwood C. Richardson, M. D. 
William B. Serbin, M. D. 
Charlotte L. Gregory, M. D. 
Gordon L. Rosene, M. D. 
Dell S. Hyde, M. D. 

Oto -Laryngology 

Thomas P. O'Connor, M. D. 
Albert H. Andrews, M. D. 
Edwin A. Wegner, M. D. 
Tai Tong Ching, M. D. 
Leonard C. DeLozier, M. D. 
Fritz H. Borg, M. D. 


Mark T. Goldstine, M. D. 
George H. Gardner, M. D. 
William B. Campbell, M. D. 
Max C. Ehrlich, M. D. 
Willard G. Jeffries, M. D. 
Joseph M. Schiavone, M. D. 
Rocco A. Masessa, M. D. 
Byford F. Heskett, M. D. 


Emory R. Strauser, M. D. 


Frank L. Hussey, M. D. 


Mary Karp, M. D. 

Emeritus Attending 

James G. Carr, M. D. 
Archibald Church, M. D. 
Otto S. Pavlik, M. D. 
Samuel C. Plummer, M. D. 
Robert B. Preble, M. D. 
Brown Pusey, M. D. 
Harry M. Richter, M. D. 
James P. Simonds, M. D. 
Frederick C. Test, M. D. 
J. Gordon Wilson, M. D. 




Early History— 1887-1905 

The Chicago Deaconess Home celebrated its fiftieth an- 
niversary in October 1937. It has the distinction of being the 
first deaconess institution established under the Methodist 
Church. It began in 1887 as an outgrowth of the work of stu- 
dents in the Chicago Training School. The Chicago Training 
School developed from the inspired vision of Lucy Rider Meyer 
and was opened in the fall of 1885. 

Field work was required as a part of the training for the 
students of the school and as they went about the city they 
were appalled and challenged by the evil social conditions which 
they discovered. Its congested foreign quarters, its areas of 
hopeless poverty, its hidden haunts of sin were mysterious 
regions which they were expected to explore and whose condi- 
tions, as far as possible, they were to relieve. The burden of 
the city pressed heavily upon the hearts of these students and 
they wondered what could be done. 

Mr. and Mrs. Meyer, too, were having their own trying 
experiences. Mr. Meyer says of that time, "We felt as if we 
had broken through into a new world" and "it seemed as if the 
Lord had opened a door and was thrusting us through." Per- 
haps for the first time, they were realizing acutely that here, 
at their very doors, lay a field of labor appalling in its need 
and extent; — such labor as Christ had distinctly and definite- 
ly laid before his people, and which the church was scarcely 
touching — which it was not even organized to touch effective- 
ly. And still more poignantly were they becoming aware that 
in the school which was then just finding itself, there existed 
the possibilities of an organization by which thousands of 
workers might be put into this field "quickly, cheaply, and 
with marvelous efficiency." 

Other hearts and minds were at work on the same prob- 
lem. An article appeared in one of the church papers which 
contained the following statement. "The problem of prob- 
lems before the church today is how to reach the ungospeled 
masses. In what form shall we embody religion so that by its 
sweet charities, its self sacrificing labors, its self renunciation, 
it can overcome the antipathy of these hostile millions." 

The students had been hearing in the classroom about 
"Phoebe" Paul's helper of "many" and the deaconesses of the 
early church. A plan was presented to them by Mr. and Mrs. 


Meyer whereby they would remain at the school during the 
summer months, continue their field work and receive room, 
board and the necessary carfare. Nothing more was promised, 
but they all agreed to work hard and share alike in what the 
Lord through His people should send toward their expenses. 
Their work won the approval of Rock River Conference and the 
Board of Trustees voted to continue the work "as long as the 
Lord sends us means for doing so." 

Since the "means" did not appear at once a venture of 
faith began when a flat at 15 W. Erie Street was rented and 
three students took possession. These three students were 
Isabelle Reeves, May Hilton and Mary Jefferson. A little 
later they were joined by Isabelle Thoburn, sister of Bishop 
Thoburn. This was a distinguished quartet to stand as a 
vanguard of a great movement, for this was the first Deacon- 
ess Home and the first deaconess institution in American 

A memorial endorsing the deaconess venture together 
with the influence of Bishop Thoburn brought about favorable 
action at the General Conference of 1888 and deaconess work 
became a recognized part of church polity. 

The number of deaconesses soon increased from three to 
twelve and a larger home became a necessity. A building at 
the corner of Ohio and Dearborn Streets, next to the Training 
School, was purchased for $12,000 and the deaconesses moved 
into their new quarters with much rejoicing. 

In starting this new and unusual enterprise those whc 
were interested in its future did not forget the need for of- 
ficial and legal ratification. It had already been officially sanc- 
tioned by the Methodist Episcopal Church through General 
Conference action in 1888. In January 1890, a charter was 
obtained and the Chicago Deaconess Home became a legally 
organized institution under the laws of the state of Illinois. 
The name of Jane Addams appears among the noted persons 
whose names are listed on the charter as the first trustees 
of the new corporation. 

At that time there existed no Protestant organization 
equipped to serve the needy, and since the present extensive 
charity work done by civic, state and county organizations 
was still undeveloped or only in its infancy, the need for pio- 
neer work in this scarcely touched field of service was very 

These first deaconesses were given room, board and cloth- 
ing plus the princely sum of fifty cents a week for luxuries as 
the reward for their service. Later on, the weekly stipend 
was changed to a monthly allowance of eight dollars and cloth- 


ing was not provided. Until the year 1916, the remuneration 
was never more than eight dollars per month and maintenance. 
But the joy of service was greater than any money consid- 
eration. The first deaconess home was founded, as early 
Christianity was founded, on the principle of sacrifice and the 
giving of self and it was doubtless this principle converted 
into action which made it possible for the church to use the 
labor of deaconesses in establishing and administering many 
of the institutions which stand today to the honor and glory 
of Methodism. In the confusion attending modern thinking, 
service on this basis may be called "cheap labor" but such a 
term, if used in reference to the pioneers in the deaconess 
movement is wholly misapplied. Their labor was a free will 
offering to the Kingdom of God and it was gladly given. Was 
it not our Master who said, "whosoever would save his life 
shall lose it and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall 
find it?" The deaconess, like all others who follow in His foot- 
steps, finds her life in giving it in service to those who need 
her ministry. 

Changing economic conditions, the need for women with 
higher educational qualifications and a growing conviction in 
the church that its workers should be supported on a more 
equitable basis led to changes in the plan of support for deacon- 

Its position of priority in establishment has given the 
Chicago Deaconess Home an advantage in helping to lift the 
standards for deaconess service and to provide more adequate 

Later History— 1905-1940. 

Three times since its establishment the Home has been 
relocated. Each move has been because of growth and in- 
creasing prosperity and at no time has its location been more 
than two blocks from the original site. In 1905 a thirty room 
building, three stories high was planned and erected at 22 
West Erie Street. It was made possible by a gift of several 
thousand dollars from Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Hobbs. This build- 
ing is the Chicago Deaconess Home of the present and its 
central location makes it accessible to and from all parts of 
the city. 

The building was equipped and furnished through the ef- 
forts of the Deaconess Aid Society which had been organized 
in May 1891, with Miss C. Adelaide Brown as the first presi- 
dent. Miss Brown served for fourteen years. Others who 
succeeded her as president, were Mrs. James Frake, Mrs. 0. H. 
Horton, Mrs. W. A. Phillips, Mrs. A. H. Andrews, Mrs. Nellie 
R. Wright, Mrs. E. H. Nichols, Mrs. F. C. Spath, Mrs. Harry 
Thomas and Mrs. H. H. Stephenson. 


Each year since the beginning of the institution the Dea- 
coness Aid Society has been meeting at the Deaconess Home 
on the third Tuesday of each month except July and August. 
These women have given generously of their time and money ; 
they have garnered food and other supplies to be distributed 
to needy families; they have secured furnishings and have 
made it comfortable in many ways; they have given counsel, 
encouragement and inspiration. The groups have changed, 
the styles have changed, the customs have changed but always 
there have been women loyal, true, courageous and unselfish 
to do these things for the joy of service in the name of Jesus. 

To the Deaconess Aid Society the Board of Trustees dele- 
gated the responsibility for planning and managing the cele- 
bration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Deaconess Home in 
October 1937. Under the able leadership of Mrs. H. G. Steph- 
enson, president of the Society, projects were planned which 
brought into the treasury approximately $2000. The social 
occasions connected with the celebration were a Golden 
Jubilee Tea and a Fiftieth Anniversary Banquet. Rather ex- 
travagant praise would be required to give fitting description 
of these delightful occasions. 

Since 1925 the Deaconess Aid Society has provided for 
the support of a deaconess for work with sick children in the 
free service hospitals of Chicago. Children in the Cook Coun- 
ty Hospital, Illinois Research Hospital and the Municipal Tu- 
berculosis Sanitarium have been reached by this service. 


The Chicago Deaconess Home is an institution of the Rock 
River Conference. It is under the management of a Board of 
Trustees composed of fifteen members. Some of the most 
able laymen and most outstanding ministers of the conference 
have served and are serving as members of the Board. The 
present members are : Dr. Frank G. Bruner, The Rev. Fred D. 
Stone, Mr. Irving Kelly, Mr. Raymond G. Kimbell, Mr. Henry 
S. Henschen, Mr. W. Clarence Oxnam, Mrs. H. G. Stephenson, 
Flora A. Sorber, the Rev. Aubrey S. Moore, Mr. George P. 
Ellis, Mr. C. H. Burkholder, Mr. E. H. Pierce, Dr. Channing D. 
Barrett, Mrs. 0. R. Aspegren, Mr. Harold J. Sandercock. 

While the Home has sometimes been used as a tempor- 
ary haven for someone needing shelter, its main function has 
been what its name implies, a home for deaconesses who go 
from it each day to their places of work in various parts of 
the city. The lines of service represented from the begin- 
ning up to the present time cover a wide and varied field, 
touching every side of the great city's life, from parish visitor 
in the suburban church to the special worker in the slum 


areas, from the rescue workers in the prisons and the missions 
to the welfare workers in the County Hospital and other simi- 
lar institutions. 

Work with and for children has always had an extensive 
place in the service rendered through the Chicago Deaconess 
Home. Year after year underprivileged children were taken 
from their poor unsanitary surroundings to homes in the coun- 
try or to summer camps provided for them. For several years 
a cottage on the New Lenox Camp Ground was used for this 
purpose. For twenty years the deaconess cottage on the Meth- 
odist Camp Ground at Des Plaines has been the gathering 
place for groups of children who have been under the guidance 
and instruction of deaconesses whose needs are known to them. 
Many hundreds of children have received the benefit of the 
service given through the Chicago Deaconess Home in its 
fresh air work. 

One of the most colorful periods in the history of the 
Home was between the years 1900 and 1920. During that 
time two deaconesses on night duty went each night to the 
"old red light district" assisted in the religious services being 
held there on the street and tried to lead the girls caught in 
the toils of sin to a desire for a better way of life. Another 
deaconess who had lost her husband and family through death 
was visitor and counsellor to young men in prison. Another 
gave her time to rescue work in the haunts where criminals 
and panderers preyed upon the innocent and the unwary. It 
was also during this period that deaconesses were appointed to 
serve in the Juvenile Court and the free service hospitals and 
other similar institutions. Deaconesses are serving in these 
latter organizations at the present time. 

Life histories in which the heights of human endeavor 
are scaled and the depths of human misery are plumbed be- 
come embedded in the memories of workers who serve in these 
areas of great need. 

Early in its history an Emergency and Relief Fund was 
started which was built up to greater proportions as the peo- 
ple who contributed increased in number and became more 
prosperous. This is used currently by the deaconesses of the 
Home to help needy persons and families. It has also been 
the policy of the Board of Trustees to finance certain projects 
or types of work in which deaconesses are engaged. The 
challenge of unmet needs always faces the church institutions 
and it has been the purpose of the Chicago Deaconess Home to 
provide for these needs as far as possible. Interested friends, 
church organizations and a small income from endowment are 
the sources from which the funds are obtained for financing 
the work. Many deceased friends and many living friends 


have contributed generously and have an esteemed place in the 
records of the institutions. 

As the years have passed the service given through the 
Chicago Deaconess Home has been adapted to provide for the 
needs brought about through changing social and economic 
conditions. When new knowledge and the test of experience 
have proved them to be desirable, new methods of work have 
been adopted. The resources of the Christian church and the 
Christian religion have undergirded all that has been accom- 
plished and any good work done or any success attained has 
been due to the Christian emphasis implied in the name — Chi- 
cago Deaconess Home of the Methodist Church. 


The work of the Methodist Old People's Home began, as 
so many of God's great works do, by the Spirit laying upon 
the hearts of first a few, then the many, thoughtful consid- 
eration of the needs of helpless old people. 

The Methodist Episcopal Old People's Home was organized 
and incorporated in May 1898, and is in the truest sense a home 
for those who tarry under its sheltering roof. 

Unorganized efforts for the care of old folk was begun 
by the deaconesses of the Chicago Deaconess Home as early as 
January, 1894, and in 1896 Grace Church under the leadership 
of Mrs. E. E. Hartwell undertook a like ministry. At the meet- 
ing of the Rock River Conference held in October 1899 in 
Rockford, Illinois, the Conference Board of Nine presented to 
the Conference a report on the Home as work accomplished 
the past year. 

The church soon realized its responsibility for its depen- 
dent aged members, and a house on Wesley Avenue, Evanston, 
Illinois was rented in February, 1898, and Miss Isabelle A. 
Reeves, a deaconess, put in charge as superintendent. At that 
time the family consisted of eight old ladies. Two months 
rent had been pledged, and $60.00 in cash provided. 

It is interesting to read the list of officers elected before 
the incorporation of the Home. They were J. A. Burhans, 
President ; J. C. Shaffer, Vice President ; Wm. H. Bush, Treas- 
urer; J. S. Meyer, Secretary, and the executive committee, 
Mrs. L. A. Calder, Mrs. L. T. M. Slocum, Mrs. J. T. Alexander, 
Mrs. Joshua Smith, Mrs. S. Frank Wilson, Mrs. E. E. Hart- 
well, Miss Isabelle Horton, Rev E. S. Bell, Mrs. D. Y. McMullen, 
Mrs. G. P. Jones, Rev. W. 0. Shepard, and Mrs. W. D. Caldwell. 


Soon this rented house was filled, and new quarters had 
to be provided. It was then that the friends of the Home 
rallied to its need. Mr. Wm. H. Bush, a consecrated layman, 
a member of Grace Church came to the rescue, with the gift 
of a plot of ground 250 by 150 feet, on the corner of Foster 
and Glenwood Streets, and as well, a generous amount for the 
building to be erected. The ceremony of ground breaking for 
Bush Hall took place October 24th, 1899. The work on the 
new building had advanced sufficiently by September 1900 so 
that the family could move from the Evanston Home and take 
up their residence at the new location. Before the dedication 
on April 22nd, 1901, Mr. Bush had been called home. In ap- 
preciation of his character we quote from his pastor Rev. F. H. 
Sheets, tribute to this man: "Kindly, gentle, faithful, how 
we shall miss him from his accustomed place. 

"The Old People's Home in Edgewater, which will bear 
his name to the generations to come, will stand as his noblest 
monument and its beautiful mission of mercy will hallow his 

"There is deep significance and pathos in the fact that this 
Home was to have been dedicated on March 25th, the Monday 
after his death, and that it would have been dedicated weeks 
ago (having been occupied for several months) but for diffi- 
culty in completing and adjusting the machinery of the eleva- 

"Such was the nature of William Bush that he could not 
give to God in act of dedication an institution in any way im- 
perfect. His offering, like the offerings of ancient Israel, 
must be free from blemish. 

"And so in the midst of his plans, his work apparently 
unfinished and eagerly toiling to the last, many of his cherished 
desires, like those of Moses, denied him, and yet the comple- 
tion of his plans provided for, crowned with years and honored 
and loved, this servant of God was called home." 

Before this building had been completed the women of 
the churches had organized the Methodist Episcopal Old Peo- 
ple's Home Auxiliary. This was to consist of two members 
from each church, and "such others as should pay dues of 50c 
per year." 

The churches were asked to set apart one Sunday, prefer- 
ably in November, to be known as "Old Folks' Day", when the 
work of the Home should be presented in the churches, and a 
collection taken for the Home. 

The thoughtful planning for the future at this early date 
was evidenced in the report to the Conference of 1899, when a 


fund of $1,300 was reported for Endowment. Thus a solid 
foundation was being laid for the years to come. 

In these early days the President of the Auxiliary was 
once asked this question: "How is the Home maintained?" 
She replied, "We exist largely on the emotions of the people." 
She went on to say, "This has been true of the past, but it must 
not be said of the future. This Home belongs to Rock River 
Methodism and every church and every individual church 
member should feel a responsibility in its care, that it be no 
longer a child of our emotions, taken care of this year and 
abandoned next. Our families are not cared for in this manner, 
and why the church's family?" The spirit in which these 
friends of the Home worked is clearly set forth in these words 
taken from the annual report of the Auxiliary President: "Let 
us then unite to make this Home the best Home — not the best 
institution — not the best boarding place — but the best home to 
be found anywhere; a home where God's tender love and 
brooding care dwells ; a haven of rest for our dear old folk ; a 
place where they will realize that heaven cannot be so differ- 
ent after all, because where God is that is heaven. Let us try 
to put into it some of ourselves." 

In connection with the Auxiliary special tribute should be 
paid Mrs. A. H. Clement who served as President eight years 
in the earlier days, and again for eight years, this second per- 
iod ending with her call to the heavenly home in March, 1940, 
She was untiring in her devotion to this work which she loved. 

When the family moved into Bush Hall it seemed that this 
building, so roomy after the Evanston home, might suffice for 
many years, but soon it was filled to overflowing, and the 
question again met those whose responsibility it was — How 
are we to provide for these others who so greatly need a 
home? The answer came through another of God's devoted 
children, Mrs. Thomas Kent. It had been the plan of Mr. and 
Mrs. Kent, who had given $1,000.00 for the first building, to 
make a liberal bequest to the Home, but after the death of Mr. 
Kent the need for another building was so urgent that Mrs. 
Kent decided to wait no longer, but to meet the present need. 
The result was that the beautiful Chapel and Kent Hall became 
a reality. Ground was broken for Kent Hall on December 5th, 
1910. The Chicago Preachers' meeting held their morning 
session in nearby Epworth church that they might be able to 
attend this service. 

On January 8th, 1912 Kent Hall and chapel were dedi- 
cated. The completion of this new building, the gift of Mrs. 
Kent in memory of her husband, was of widespread interest. 
From her nearbv home in Evanston, Mrs. Kent came many 


times to worship with the family she loved, in the beautiful 
chapel she had given them. To the end of her long life she 
kept her interest in this place, and in her last days in far away 
California, she still thought of and planned for the family of 
the Home, and when on August 2nd 1929, at the age of 98, she 
was called home to the Father's house, there was mourning 
because of their loss, but as well rejoicing because of the wel- 
come awaiting her there. 

Two years after the dedication of Kent Hall, Miss Reeves, 
for 16 years the beloved and capable superintendent of the 
Home heard the call, "Well done good and faithful servant, 
enter thou into the joy of the Lord." During the days of her 
illness she had called to her side to help her to carry on, a 
woman who through all the years of her work, had been a help- 
ful friend to the Home, Mrs. W. A. Phillips. Going to the help 
of her friend for a short time as she thought, Mrs. Phillips was 
called a few months later to take up the task laid down by 
Miss Reeves. She came to the work specially fitted for the 
task by her years of service in the parsonage, and her wide ac- 
quaintance through the Conference. She found a house filled 
to capacity. The World War was on, and every one burdened 
over world conditions. It seemed no time to think of building, 
even though the need was so apparent. In 1918, Mrs. Phillips, 
feeling that with God, whose work this was, nothing was im- 
possible, wrote to Mrs. G. F. Swift telling her of the needs for 
another building to house the many needing to come. Mrs. 
Swift responded with $60,000.00 for a new building. Building 
conditions not being favorable just at that time, the money 
was put at interest until conditions should improve. Later 
when the time for building arrived, Mrs. Swift gave an addi- 
tional amount that an adequate structure might be built. 
Ground was broken for Swift Hall on March 20th, 1922, and 
the date for laying of the corner stone was set for May 21st. 
Again the coming of the death angel changed the plans, and 
funeral services were held for Mrs. Swift at almost the very 
hour set for the laying of the corner stone. The ceremony was 
postponed until the next day. Swift Hall was completed and 
dedicated on March 2nd, 1923. Furnishings were provided by 
individuals or Church societies, and the Home was now pre- 
pared to care for 145 people. 

On June 25th, the beautiful Shaffer Sun Parlor built at 
the east of Kent Hall, given by Mr. John C. Shaffer, was dedi- 
cated. Mr. Shaffer gave not only the building but the beauti- 
ful furnishings, chosen by himself. 

Realizing that added buildings and increased family would 
call for larger endowment, a campaign for $250,000 was put on, 
and Rev. Claude S. Moore came as Field Secretary giving his 


time to this special work. The Endowment fund was very 
substantially increased, as well as much interest aroused 
through the Conference. 

To the present time 557 old people have been cared for in 
the Home, some staying but a short time, others finding shel- 
ter for a long stretch of years, 28 years being the longest time. 

A normal home life has always been the aim of those 
having the care of this family, to that end few "rules" are 

Newspapers, magazines, and radios keep us in touch with 
the outside world, Church services on Sunday afternoon con- 
ducted by pastors of the city and suburbs, and prayermeet- 
ings on Wednesday night bring food for the spiritual life. The 
social side is not neglected, entertainments brought to us by 
different organizations in the churches, invitations to attend 
meetings of the woman's organizations of the churches, as 
well as gatherings among themselves, minister to this side of 

The special seasons of the year are observed, Christmas 
at the Home is a happy time for every one, not only because 
friends from outside bring cheer and happiness, but those on 
the inside have been for weeks busily working to make it a 
happy time for others, and a box of garments, both beautiful 
and useful has been made for the children of the Orphanage, 
or for some child in one of the Institutional Churches, and 
there is giving as well as receiving on their part. 

For those who are able to do some hand craft work, an 
Occupational Therapy department is maintained, a place where 
in the creation of something beautiful, one may forget some 
of the aches and pains that come with the years, as well as 
find companionship in working with others. In one year six 
hundred garments were made for the Red Cross. One who 
had a part in this work was heard to say, "While I can do this 
work I feel I am still of some use in the world." An emer- 
gency call from the Red Cross always meets with a generous 
response from these who have so little to give. The home 
Church and the work in the foreign field receive equally prompt 
attention and an eager answer to the call. Citizenship fa tak- 
en seriously, a group of women from the Home were among 
the voters at the first election after that privilege was given 
them, that number has increased with the years, since we be- 
lieve that a privilege brings with it a duty. 

And what shall we more say; for time would fail us to 
tell of the men and women, who through all these years have 
given of their time to serve the Home on its Board of Man- 
agers, who have planned wisely and well for the future ; of the 


women who through the Auxiliary have cooperated in giving 
a wonderful service of love and helpfulness in this place. 

Should not we who are "encompassed by so great a cloud 
of witnesses'' be proud of our heritage and rejoice that we may 
have a part in such a great work? 


The growth and development of the deaconess movement 
under the inspiration of Mr. and Mrs. J. Shelley Meyer reads 
like a romance. It began with a little leaven dropped in some 
meal and in a short time it became a full sized loaf. This form 
of Christian social service appealed to young women and the 
number of deaconesses increased very rapidly in the early years 
of the organization. 

After the deaconess work had been established for several 
years, a question arose as to the care of the deaconess at times 
when she needed rest or recuperation from illness and when 
she must retire from active work. Giving her time as she did 
for a small allowance, it could not be supposed that many of 
these women would have provision made for meeting these 
emergencies. A home suitably located for this purpose seemed 
to be a real need. An article written on this subject by Mrs. 
Meyer appeared in 'The Deaconess Advocate". It was supple- 
mented by an imaginary eletrotype giving a picture of such a 

Not long afterward, Mrs. Rosa Agard West informed Mrs. 
Meyer that she had in mind the erection of such a home in 
memory of her father, The Rev. John Agard, a minister of the 
Rock River Conference. Mrs. West had been from the begin- 
ning a warm friend of the deaconess and her work. While many 
women were dedicating themselves to lives of service "for 
Jesus' sake" Mrs. West was looking ahead to a time which she 
foresaw must surely come — the time when these women, sick 
or worn out by their ceaseless efforts to care for others, must 
themselves be cared for. With this thought in mind, she 
planned and erected a beautiful home in Lake Bluff, 111. It 
was completed in 1893 and presented to the Methodist Deacon- 
ess Society, a corporation that was organized for the purpose 
of holding property. It was a generous gift and the building 
has been occupied with growing appreciation as the years pass 
and the demand for such a home becomes constantly more 


This institution was incorporated under the name of the 
Agard Deaconess Sanitarium with Mrs. Ina J. Horsfall, as the 
superintendent. Five years later Miss Mary Jefferson became 
the superintendent of the sanitarium. 

Miss Jefferson was a woman with a winsome, lovely charac- 
ter, quiet and unassuming. She laid the foundation well for the 
future permanency of Agard. She was indeed a pioneer and 
like all pioneers she was not airaid of hard work even to the 
tending of the furnace and the performing of other necessary 
household tasks. She was truly a great woman in Methodism 
and one who will live long in the memory of her friends. She 
died after a long illness on March 24, 1917. 

In 1910, while Miss Jefferson was still the superintendent, 
the Board of Managers was reorganized and enlarged with 
Mrs. W. F. McDowell as the first president of the Board. In 
1921, the Board of Managers proceeded to change the name 
from Agard Deaconess Sanatarium to Agard Deaconess Rest 

Miss Mary Anna Taggart succeeded Miss Jefferson as 
superintendent in 1917. Under her supervision, $20,000 was in^ 
vested in remodeling, repairs and replacements until the build- 
ing became more adapted to the needs of the guests who shared 
in its hospitality. She travelled throughout the conference in 
the interest of the Home and enlisted the good will and the 
support of a large group of friends who became contributors 
to it. During this period an Endowment Fund was developed 
which now amounts to approximately $85,000. 

The year 1920 was marked by two important events in 
the history of Agard. One was the election of Mr. George P. 
Ellis to the Board of Managers as its president. For twenty 
years, Mr. Ellis has served most sufficiently in this office. 
Second in importance was the organization of the Agard Aid 
Association. It was brought into being in the home of Mrs. 
George W. Dixon and it was cradled and nurtured by Mrs. Ray- 
mond G. Kimbell who for many years continued to care for 
it until it was set securely on its feet. Mrs. Kimball was suc- 
ceeded by Mrs. John W. O'Leary who also carried on the work 
successfully. The Agard Aid Association is now directed by 
Mrs. Ellis McFarland and her assistants. 

For seventeen years Miss Taggart had the leadership of 
the institution. In 1935 she resigned to take on the retired re- 
lation. A cooperative relationship was affected between the 
Agard Deaconess Rest Home and the Chicago Deaconess Home. 
Miss Flora A. Sorber, superintendent of the Home in Chicago 
was given responsibility for the management of the two insti- 


The growth and development of Agard from its humble 
beginnings until now is an achievement of which Methodism 
can be proud. It is a memorial not only to the Rev. John Agard 
but also to those who have made it possible by their conse- 
crated gifts of both time and money. 

The service of this institution reaches out to the far places 
of the earth. Missionaries from China, India, Africa, Korea, 
Japan and other mission stations have come to it when on fur- 
lough or incapacitated by illness. Greater in number are the 
deaconesses whose field of service is the United States and its 
possessions. These two groups have shared in the hospitality of 
Agard and many of them owe their restoration to health and 
strength to the restful atmosphere of the home and the care 
received while residing in it. 

When space is available other church women use it as a 
vacation and rest home but the main service of Agard is to the 
group for whom it was first established, the deaconesses and 
missionaries in the service of the Methodist church. 




Of The 


Based on facts contained in the Annual Reports by 

Rockwell F. Clancy 

The need of an institution for the care of homeless little 
ones presented itself early in the history of the Deaconess 
Movement. Indeed, as early as August, 1888, the first gift for 
that purpose was made. However, it was not until the spring of 
1894 that the Deaconesses ventured out. At that time the 
pressure for a home of some sort, under their own care, be- 
came too great to resist. 

In April of that year, 1894, a small house was rented in 
Lake Bluff, Illinois, which at that time was a beautiful little 
village on the shore of Lake Michigan about 30 miles north of 
Chicago. This initial step was taken under the supervision 
of the superintendent of the Chicago Deaconess Home, Miss 
Mary Jefferson, with Miss Abigail Simonds as matron. During 
that summer the Deaconess Rest Home made some repairs on 
its cottage and to these larger quarters Miss Simonds trans- 
ferred her family late that fall. On October the 13th of that 
year (1894) the children's work was incorporated under the 
name of the Methodist Deaconess Orphanage. 

Memorial to Lucy C. Judson, first Orphanage Superintendent 


In the following year, on June 12th, 1895, the Orphanage 
dedicated their first new building, which was given to them by- 
Mrs. Mary Marilla Hobbs, who thereby became the founder 
of the institution. The site adjoined the Deaconess Rest Home. 
This first building contained a parlor, reception room for the 
children's visitors, office, four individual sleeping rooms and 
six children's dormitories. The Deaconess Rest Home was later 
purchased by Mr. N. W. Harris for the Orphanage. Mr. Robert 
Fowler, Mr. Wm. H. Bush and Dr. C. G. Truesdell each gave a 
lot, and Mr. Hobbs increased his donation until the whole block, 
600 by 250 feet, became the property of the Methodist Dea- 
coness Orphanage. 

In January, 1898, Miss Lucy J. Judson was appointed 
Superintendent of the Orphanage. 

It was not long before the growth of the work necessi- 
tated larger quarters. Seventy-two children were being cared 
for in that one building at this time. 

On November 22nd, 1900, another new building was dedi- 
cated. This second building was likewise given by Mr. and 
Mrs. J. B. Hobbs, the donors of the original building. This 
building contained a dining room, kitchen, playroom, four 
sleeping rooms, toilet rooms, laundry and store rooms. 

Still the work grew. In May, 1901, the Epworth Children's 
Home of Ravenswood, Chicago was consolidated with the 
Methodist Deaconess Orphanage and the Lake Bluff Institu- 
tion was known for many years as the Methodist Deaconess 
Orphanage and Epworth Children's' Home. At that time, 
seventeen children were transferred from the Ravenswood 

In September, 1902, a third building was dedicated, the 
gift of Mr. N. W. Harris. It was known as "Wadsworth Cot- 
tage" in memory of his mother, and was devoted to the use of 
older boys. In this same year Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs gave another 
building for the use of the older girls and some of the em- 
ployees. This fourth building stood on the north side of the 
block and was used primarily for sleeping purposes. 

The next building to make its appearance was given by 
Mr. William Deering and cost around $6000. This was used as 
a school and was dedicated on September 22, 1904. It seems 
that by action of the school committee of the Lake Bluff Vil- 
lage Association, the children from the Orphanage were ex- 
cluded from the public schools and so the building became an 
absolute necessity. It contained four school rooms with lava- 
tories and engine room. 

Mr. and Mrs. L. F. Swift became interested in the Or- 
phanage about this time and remodeled the building which 



was formerly called the Rest Home into a hospital. They fur- 
nished the building throughout and equipped it with all kinds 
of hospital appliances including medicines and surgical instru- 
ments. This was done as a memorial to their son, Nathan 
Swift. The building was dedicated in September, 1904. 

At this period the property of the Orphanage was valued 
around $50,000 and they had a capacity of 120 children with 
an attendance running from 110 to 120. There were a total of 
15 employees, 11 of whom were working on the Deaconess 
basis of renumeration with four others receiving wages. There 
was a Board of Managers, consisting of twenty representative 
men and women, five of whom were also Trustees of the insti- 

For current expenses, the management was entirely de- 
pendent upon contributions more or less irregular from the 
churches and the general public. The Epworth Leagues and 
Sunday Schools took a great interest in the Orphanage at this 
time and contributions were received from churches in Illinois, 
Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana. At this time also, the Orphanage 
Auxiliary, an organization of Ladies from Chicago and towns 
adjacent to Lake Bluff were making annual contributions to 
the Orphanage. 

In 1903, under the will of Mr. William H. Bush, $10,000 
was received by the Orphanage and was paid to them in four 
annual installments. This was available for the use of the 
general expenses of the Home. 

The Orphanage school which was started in the fall of 
1904, was operated and maintained for sometime without the 
aid of any public moneys but in September, 1905, the Board of 


Pre- School Children's House 


Supervisors of Lake County, Illinois, voted the institution $250 
for the remainder of the year. 

The endowment fund of the Orphanage was also started 
about this time through a gift of $500 left in 1903 by a Dea- 
coness, Miss Sara Bickel, who had been connected with the 
Milwaukee Deaconess Home. This sum of $500 was to be used 
in the establishing and care of a baby fold. 

In December 1906, "Wadsworth Cottage" which had 
been given by Mr. N. W. Harris in 1902 was destroyed by 
fire. Immediately, he gave additional funds and the building 
was rebuilt. 

In May, 1911, a fire partially destroyed the Mary Marilla 
Hobbs building so that when it was rebuilt it was no longer 
used for a children's dormitory but was re-arranged for tea- 
chers and workers, the lower floor containing an office par- 
lor, etc. 

This change necessitated a building for the younger child- 
ren, so subscriptions were sought and in November, 1915, a 
fine fireproof dormitory accommodating 72 little children, was 
finished and named "Judson Hall". This building had four 
workers' rooms, two playrooms, a parlor and Manual Training 
and Assembly rooms. This now gave the Orphanage a group of 
seven buildings, all heated by steam and lighted by electricity. 
The capacity of the Home was 165 children and at that time 
they were able to take in only one-half of the applicants. 

About this time a change was made in the school system, 
as the seventh and eight grades were now permitted to attend 
the public school and the Deerfield-Shields Township High 
School was open to all who desired a high school education. 
In the first six grades at this time there were approximately 
100 pupils being cared for by four capable teachers. 

With reference to the endowment fund which was started 
by Miss Bickel, it had now grown to a total of $175,000. Also, 
the supervisors of Lake County were giving at this time, 
roughly $500 a year to help care for the children from their 
own particular county. 

In 1924, Miss Lucy J. Judson, who had been serving as 
superintendent of the Orphanage since January, 1898, re- 
tired as superintendent, having given 26 years of remarkable 
service to the Orphanage. 

At this time, Miss Jessie E. Arbuckle was called to serve 
as superintendent of the Orphanage. 

In her first year of service she had many unusual prob- 
lems to meet and handle. In the first place, the central pump 
broke down and necessitated the carrying of pails of water 



from the hand pump in the yard. In that same winter on a cold 
day, a furnace broke down and the babies were hastily bund- 
led into bed to keep warm while someone hurried to Waukegan 
to secure a stove which turned out to be one of those old fash- 
ioned country stoves. As a result of these calamities a cen- 
tral heating plant, water system and laundry were installed. 

In 1929, Louis F. Swift gave the money for a new Health 
Center for babies, clinics and hospitalization. This building set 
the pace for other fireproof buildings of this character. 

In 1930 the school building was condemned and it was 
necessary to take the children to the basement of an old frame 
dormitory to continue school. However, at this time Mrs. 
Harry Milne Mcintosh came forward and presented the Or- 
phanage with a beautiful educational center which was dedi- 
cated in 1931. 

The next problem which confronted the Orphanage was 
one of correct housing for the pre-school, that is, little folk 
from three to five years of age. In 1932, Louis F. Swift along 
with his brothers and sisters presented a Model Duplex Family 
Unit Home. 

In 1937 Wadsworth Harris Hall was built making it pos- 
sible for the Orphanage to tear down another one of those old 
frame buildings. 

In 1938 Judson Hall was remodeled, removing the dangers 
from falling plaster and broken down sewerage pipes. 

At this writing, the fall of 1940, the Orphanage is going 
forward steadily under the careful and enthusiastic guidance 
of Miss Jessie E. Arbuckle, the superintendent. At this time, 
the Orphanage has the following trustees and officers : 


Hospitalization Division, Clinics 



Rockwell F. Clancy President 

A. J. Hennings First Vice President 

Frank Milhenning . Second Vice President 

Floyd W. Sanders Secretary 

Mrs. Alden B. Swift Treasurer 

Carl H. Gutmacher Asst. Treasurer 

Jessie E. Arbuckle Superintendent 


Rockwell F. Clancy A. J. Hennings 

David C. Cook, III Mrs. Harry Milne Mcintosh 

Mrs. Vilas Johnson Mrs. Alden B. Swift 

Frank Milhenning Carl H. Gutmacher 

Raymond Moore George Hoffman 

H. C. Newton S. E. Leeman 

Mrs. A. E. Swanson Robert Nichols 

Miss Jessie E. Arbuckle Floyd W. Sanders 

H. 0. Barnes Thayne T. Swartz 

Milton D. Bayly J. H. Taylor 

W. E. J. Gratz 

The yearly budget of the Home is being greatly helped 
by the "Friends of Orphans" under the guidance of Mrs. Vilas 
Johnson and the Lake Forest Committee which puts on the 
annual Garden Party under the guidance of Mrs. Alden B. 
Swift and Mrs. Harry Mcintosh. So for 46 years this Institu- 
tion has grown and developed until now it has assets of 
$851,000 and an annual budget of approximately $43,000 a 


Community House 


A staff of 36 people, including Executive, Department 
Directors, Teachers, Nurses, Mother Leaders, Maintenance 
workers and Apprentices, are caring for the needs and pro- 
grams for 141 children. 

Truly, it is one of the outstanding Methodist Institutions 
in the central west and worthy of consideration when individ- 
uals or churches are considering the matter of bequests and 
yearly contributions. 


The Chicago Home Missionary and Church Extension 
Society represents Methodism's response to the needs of a 
growing and rapidly changing City. 

Missionary work in the City of Chicago on the part of our 
Methodist Church covers a period of nearly 70 years. As early 
as March 20, 1873, the "Board of City Missions" was fully or- 
ganized and functioning with a budget of $2000.00 adopted by 
the Society. The first list of projects includes the Kossuth 
Street Mission, the Norwegian Mission and the State Street 

In December of 1873, it was decided to incorporate and 
the name chosen was "The Board of Missions and Church Ex- 
tension of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Chicago and 
Suburbs." This Board was composed of the Presiding Elder 
of the Chicago District, The Board of Trustees of the First 
Methodist Episcopal Church, and the pastors and two mem- 
bers of each Station and Circuit, that contributed to the Board, 
within twelve miles of the Court House of Chicago. Grant 
Goodrich was elected to the office of President. 

On April 14, 1874, Articles of Incorporation were drawn up 
and the name was changed to "The Church Extension Society 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Chicago." In 1884, the 
Society was reorganized and the name changed to "The Chi- 
cago District Missionary and Church Extension Society." 
William Deering was elected to the office of President. Ac- 
cording to the By-laws, money was to be raised by securing 
pledges and the statement was made that "any person sub- 
scribing $50.00 or upward annually may become a member of 
the Association." At this point it is of interest to note that 
Mr. Arthur Dixon, grandfather of our President, Mr. George 


W. Dixon Jr., was among the first subscribers. It was further 
stated in the By-laws that ministers could become members of 
the Association by a vote of a majority of the members pres- 
ent at any regular meeting of the Society. 

The record of those early days is intensely interesting. 
For example, under date of January 29, 1885, we find the fol- 
lowing notation : — 

"At LaGrange, on the C. B. & Q. Road, about 14 

miles from the City, we have organized a Society of 

over 20 members and a Sunday School of about 50 

scholars," — 
the humble beginning of one of our great Churches. 

On January 14, 1886, the name of the Society was changed 
once more. It became, "The Chicago Home Missionary and 
Church Extension Society." William Deering was elected 
President and Luke Hitchcock became the first "Correspond- 
ing Secretary" or Superintendent of the Society as it is now 
organized. In the first list of Trustees names of many per- 
sons prominent in the history of Chicago and Chicago Meth- 
odism are found. 

The First Board of Trustees consisted of : 
William Deering Robert W. Vasey 

James B. Hobbs Harlow N. Higinbothom 

Turlington W. Harvey Hiram J. Thompson 

Charles Busby J. E. Wilson 

Oliver H. Horton Grant Goodrich 

William E. Blackstone G. F. Swift 

Charles B. Eggleston William H. Rand 

James S. Harvey Milton H. Wilson 

J. M. Fleming David R. Dyche 

Samuel A. Kean Perley Lowe 

Mark B. Clancy Frank P. Crandon 

H. S. Towle J. L. Whittock 

J. H. Manny W. S. Verity 

R. P. Hollet Robert Larkins 

Charles E. Simmons Charles W. Lasher 

Mortimer A. Allen E. W. Burke 

John W. Calkins Charles B. Congdon 

Charles G. Truesdell Luke Hitchcock 

N. W. Harris 

As the City of Chicago grew the work of The Chicago 
Home Missionary and Church Extension Society kept pace. 
New Churches were needed in many sections of the City. The 
"Missionary Society" organized Sunday Schools, purchased 
lots, appropriated money, provided legal counsel, assisted in 
raising money for church debts, and helped in many other 
ways. An incomplete record of such assistance lists more than 
300 Churches. Indeed one cannot find more than three or four 
Churches in Chicago or its immediate suburbs which have 
failed to receive financial assistance from the Chicago Home 


Missionary and Church Extension Society. In addition to the 
regular work of the "Society" it was instrumental in organiz- 
ing the Goodwill Industries of Chicago, and it did the work of 
a pioneer in caring for Protestant boys and girls at the Juvenile 
Court and in the Juvenile Detention Home. 

During the years of the Society's service in Chicago more 
than $1,500,000.00 has flowed through its Treasury, helpfully 
touching the lives of thousands and thousands of people. 

In its more than half a century of life The Chicago Home 
Missionary and Church Extension Society has had five Pres- 
idents : — 

William Deering 1886-1906 

James B. Hobbs 1906-1914 

George W. Dixon 1914-1934 

William W. Dixon 1934-1940 

George D. Dixon Jr., Elected in 1941 

and has had five superintendents : 

Luke Hitchcock 1886-1890 

A. D. Traveller 1890-1906 

James Rowe 1906-1914 

John Thompson 1914-1935 

Aubrey S. Moore 1935-to the present time 

In 1892 we find among the list of Churches receiving as- 
sistance, the following: — 

Auburn Park, Berwyn, First Bohemian, Cuyler Avenue, 
Christ Church, Elsdon, Gross Park, Halsted Street, Hermosa, 
Hegewisch, Irving Park, Maywood, Park Manor, Edison Park, 
Woodlawn Park, South Chicago, and many others. 

In fact the record of this Society is the record of the 
birth, growth and development of Chicago Methodism, for this 
Society's hand was outstretched to practically every new 
Church that came into being during the past fifty-five years. 

The Chicago Home Missionary and Church Extension So- 
ciety was never more vitally interested in the building of the 
Kingdom of God than at the present moment. It has sought 
to serve and seeks no higher privilege today than that of con- 
tinued service. 



The founding of Clark Seminary, a school for both boys 
and girls — a daring adventure in those early days — was the 
inspiration of John Clark. In 1856 the corner stone of Clark 
Seminary was laid, the most famous and eloquent Methodist 
Bishop of the time officiating, Bishop Simpson. In 1859 this 
coeducational school was opened with Dr. G. W. Quereau as 
president and Miss Jemima Washburn as preceptress. Clark 
Seminary gave her first bishop, Bishop Charles Fowler, to the 
Methodist Church during these first years. 

The debt of the original building fund was heavy. Rev- 
erend Caleb Foster was tireless in his efforts and in 1869 Mrs. 
Eliza Jennings gave generously, cleared the debt, and saved 
the school which since that date has been known as Jennings 

The first graduating class numbered one, Miss Hannah 
Winslow. One graduate of the Class of 1885, E. J. Taylor, 
still remembers Jennings Seminary each year with two 
scholarship awards known as the "Taylor Awards." Bishop 
William Shepard graduated with the Class of 1883. 

The Rock River Conference experienced a most dramatic 
and historic session in 1898. At the close of this meeting the 
following information was received in Aurora : The Rock River 
Conference voted to convey the property of Jennings Seminary 
to the deaconesses to maintain a school for young ladies. On 
January 3, 1899 another dedication was held with Miss Char- 
lotte Codding as the first principal of this girls' school. On the 
school's 50th anniversary the first year book, the Stylus, ap- 
peared and has been published each year since then. The 
Stylus of the Class of 1940 was dedicated to the ideals and 
achievements of Miss Cora Simpson, Class of 1903, who went 
to China in 1907 as a missionary nurse. 

As a high school for girls, graduates from the college pre- 
paratory course are admitted to colleges and universities which 
admit without examination. One of the new traditions of the 
school is the Cora Simpson fund accumulated at Christmas 
time. This is a voluntary contribution of the girls, sent to 
Miss Simpson to use as she sees fit. The Christmas Nativity 
Pageant, the Order of the Ivy Leaf, an honor, student elected 
group, a well planned guidance program throughout the four 
high school years and into the world, a form of student gov- 




ernment combined with the administrative office, a beautiful 
ceremony of the charge of the outgoing senior class to the new 
seniors — all these have been added to the richness of the tra- 
ditions which have gone before. 

Jennings Seminary is under the direct administration of 
the Board of Trustees, leading pastors and laymen in the Rock 
River Conference. Faculty, staff members and students live 
in the building. Fine fellowship and kindly supervision over 
all the activities of the school life promote forces for building 
strength of character, the paramount objective in training 


Ashland Boulevard at Harrison St., Chicago, Illinois. 


Wesley Foundation-St. Paul Methodist Church in the 
Illinois Medical Center neighborhood in Chicago is one of the 
younger institutions of the Rock River Conference. It serves 
the section of Chicago once served by the Centenary, the 
Western Ave., the Marshfield Ave. and four other older Meth- 
odist Churches. It has been only twenty years that the Wes- 
ley Foundation has been associated with the St. Paul Metho- 
dist Church. The present church building was erected after 
a merger in 1902. It had to be rebuilt after it was gutted 
with fire in 1906. The St. Paul Methodist Church itself is 
scarcely sixty years of age. 

The Chicago Church Federation estimates that the popu- 
lation of the section of the Near West side of Chicago which 
comprises the parish of the St. Paul Methodist Church is 140,- 
000 people. At the turn of the century, the northern Euro- 
pean strains were preponderant in the neighborhood. For a 
period that followed, the Jewish peoples were dominant, then 
the Italians came in. The newer residents of this section come 
mostly from rural America. Studies reveal that thirty-seven 
percent of the new residents leave within the first year. But 
it also shows that another similar percentage stay for twenty 
years. The newer migrations and the newer housing projects 
give splendid opportunities for a Christian neighborhood min- 
istry. No settlement house or church on the near west side 
of Chicago was ever better located to render such a ministry 
than is the St. Paul Methodist Church at the present time. 

More than anything else, it is the vision of the possibili- 
ties of student and young peoples work in the Illinois Medical 


Center of Chicago that has saved the St. Paul Methodist 
Church. Methodism has been slow to grasp the significance 
of an evangelical sharing ministry in an underprivileged, poly- 
glot, urban section such as this of Chicago's near west side. 
But it grasped quickly Bishop James C. Baker's vision of the 
importance of churches following their students to non-Metho- 
dist educational centers. The Wesley Foundations organized 
to minister to students at these state university centers were 
the answer. Dr. Roy L. Smith sought funds out of Centenary 
money as early as 1919 to supplement those of the St. Paul 
Methodist Church in her work among the university students 
and nurses training schools. The Wesley Foundation of the 
St. Paul Methodist Church seems not to have been officially 
established until the year of 1922 when Dr. S. D. White was 

Tremendous strides have been taken since that time to 
make this Medical Center one of the foremost in the world. 
The University of Illinois has steadily expanded through build- 
ing developments and the affiliations of her graduate schools. 
The independent and church controlled hospitals and schools 
of the neighborhood include The Presbyterian Hospital and 
Rush Medical School, the Loyola Medical and Dental Schools 
and the University Hospital. The chief property interests of 
the Medical Center belong to the tax payers of the state and 
county. These include the County Hospital and the Educa- 
tional and Research Hospitals of Illinois, and the new Neuro- 
psychiatry Institute of Illinois. The fact that the tax payers 
of Illinois have more than $26,000,000.00 invested within a half 
mile of the St. Paul Methodist Church is indicative of the 
permanency of this field of service. 

There will always be large numbers of choice young peo- 
ple in such a center. And in such a neighborhood there will 
always be many who will enjoy the fellowship and spiritual 
ministries of their Wesley Foundation church home away 
from home. And they go out from the St. Paul Methodist 
Church in a continuous stream to places of leadership and re- 
sponsibility throughout the nation. And further: — direct re- 
ports have been received this past year of their valuable ser- 
vices and Christian influences for good from China, from 
India, from Africa, from Hawaii and the Philippines, and 
from Canada. This year new streams of influence are flow- 
ing out from the St. Paul Church to the Latin American 
countries to the South. 

Just as Methodism has learned the value of following her 
students as a church, so also must she catch the vision of the 
importance of her folks who become ill and go to be ministered 


to in tax supported or non-Methodist institutions. The rec- 
ords show that 85,000 persons were hospitalized within a mile 
of the St. Paul Methodist Church in 1940. This does not in- 
clude the more than half million who visited the clinics in the 
same area. This past year, upon nomination of the Institu- 
tions Commission of the Chicago Church Federation, the St. 
Paul Pastor undertook the job of being Protestant Emergency 
Chaplain and contact person with the state hospitals of the 
neighborhood. Dr. Russell Dicks has also requested that he 
act in a similar capacity for the Presbyterian Hospital for the 
next several months. Recently, Miss Florence Southworth 
has been secured to assist in the hospital and neighborhood 
ministries in cooperation with our student work program. 
The Wesley Foundation-St. Paul Methodist Church is strategi- 
cally located to render a three-fold ministry on the near west 
side of Chicago. Our field is undeniable. We have proven op- 
portunities of service to render in the neighborhood, among 
the students and with the sick. We are recovering from the 
financial slump of the past decade. With the loyal cooperation 
of Methodist men and women of vision the decade ahead should 
be the best ever. 



The Goodwill Industries is Methodism's ministry to handi- 
capped people, a practical application of Christianity, involving* 
not the giving of charity or just the preaching of the gospel. 
Its purpose is to provide the people whom it serves with every- 
thing that is necessary to make a more abundant life possible. 
This involves opportunities for self-support, the living of a 
normal social life, and an awareness and appreciation of the 
beauty in the world about us, of the good in the lives of the 
people with whom we live and work and of the presence of 
God within the soul. 

Industrial Program 

The basic feature of the Goodwill Industries, in carrying 
out its objective, is its industrial program, which endeavors to 
develop a job for each handicapped person in accordance with 
his handicapped ability. The process of collecting donations of 
discarded clothing, furniture, paper, and other articles, recon- 
ditioning this material, and then selling it in the poorer com- 
munities, makes possible a large variety of jobs and the em- 
ployment of a large variety of handicapped people. 


A National Movement 

The first Goodwill Industries was organized by Rev. Edgar 
J. Helms in 1905 in connection with his church in the South 
End of Boston. The Home Mission Board of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church became interested in the program as de- 
veloped by Rev. Helms, and with the help of the Centenary 
Movement funds fostered similar programs in many cities 
throughout the United States. At present there are approxi- 
mately one hundred autonomous Goodwill Industries working 
together through a Bureau of Goodwill Industries of the Meth- 
odist Church and through the National Association of Good- 
will Industries. 

Local Organization and Superintendents 

In Chicago, the Goodwill Industries was organized in 1920 
as a department of the City Missionary and Church Extension 
Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. For several years 
previous to the year 1916, four Methodist churches had carried 
on activities involving the collection and sale of discarded 
material, all but one on a rummage sale basis. The exception 
was the Grace Church Industries, in connection with Grace 
Methodist Episcopal Church, under the direction of Rev. Elmer 
Williams. In 1916, Dr. John Thompson, as Superintendent of 
the City Missionary Society, brought about an agreement 
whereby the churches operating these salvage activities dis- 
continued them, and a new organization, known as The Metho- 
dist Mutual Aid Union, was established. The purpose of this 
organization was to enable poor people to purchase needed 
clothing and other necessary articles at a very low price. Rev. 
William S. Fleming superintended this work till 1920, when, un- 
der the leadership of Dr. John Thompson, the names of this or- 
ganization was changed to Goodwill Industries and the program 
changed to that of providing unfortunate people with an op- 
portunity to earn their living through collecting, recondition- 
ing, and selling contributed discarded material. Rev. Raymond 
Powers was appointed the first Superintendent of the new or- 
ganization, and October 15, 1920 is recorded as the official 
beginning of the Goodwill Industries of Chicago. Upon the 
resignation of Rev. Powers, Rev. Walter C. Loague became 
Superintendent on April 1, 1921, and he has held this position 
since then. 


The Methodist Mutual Aid Union had been located in the 
Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church building at 1020 W. 
Monroe Street, and the Goodwill Industries continued to use 
this building for its office and workshops till November 1, 1927. 
From that date till May 1, 1930, the work was housed in a 


rented factory building at 215-19 S. Western Avenue. Because 
of the widening of Western Avenue, and the resulting de- 
crease in the size of the building, it became necessary for the 
Goodwill Industries to move back to the Centenary Church 
building. In June of 1932, the free use of the old Medical School 
Building of the University of Illinois, at 1841 W. Congress, 
was secured, and for five and a half years, the Goodwill Indus- 
tries was housed in this large and impressive building. Plans 
for a park in front of the Cook County Hospital involved the 
raising of this building, and it became necessary for the organ- 
ization to seek a new home. On November 1, 1937, a large fac- 
tory building at 2425 S. Wallace Street was rented, and since 
then the offices and the workshops for handicapped people 
have been located there. 

A Methodist Institution 
After its organization in 1920, the Goodwill Industries 
continued to function as a department of the City Missionary 
Society till the year 1926, when it was incorporated as a 
separate organization with a board of twenty-seven directors. 
It has continued to be an affiliated institution of the Methodist 
Church with a majority of its directors elected from that 
Church and with other members selected from several de- 
nominations. It is the desire of the organization to serve as a 
medium whereby people of all faiths might serve handicapped 
people of all faiths. Since no program for handicapped men and 
women can be effective if it does not emphasize spiritual values 
and the possibilities of joy in spite of handicaps, it is important 
that one denomination definitely stand behind the institution, 
to the end that there always shall be an assured interest in the 
spiritual welfare of handicapped people. 

Past Service Rendered 
The purpose of the Goodwill Industries as expressed by the 
National Association is, to take care of all types of handicapped 
people. The Chicago organization, because of the size of the 
city, has deemed it wise to confine its service to physically and 
mentally handicapped men and women. However, during the 
depression years, the scope of service was broadened so as to 
provide work relief for all types of people for whom the various 
relief agencies were seeking employment as a means of pre- 
serving morale and at the same time securing some return to 
the public from the results of labor performed by those re- 
ceiving relief. 

The Goodwill Industries, to provide this larger work re- 
lief program, set up various shops for the reconditioning of 
material collected for free distribution by the Woman's Divi- 
sion of Governor Emmerson's Relief Commission. It established 


various kinds of service shops for the making of garments for 
relief agencies. One hundred and twenty-five acres of land 
were put under cultivation to raise vegetables for relief people, 
the work being done through the Goodwill Industries on a work 
relief basis. Four woodyards were established where deaf men, 
particularly deaf mutes, were employed sawing and splitting 
cross ties and trees, the resulting wood being distributed to 
relief families. The greatest project of this nature was the one 
which the Goodwill Industries developed in connection with 
the Red Cross material. A large textile shop was set up with 
more than 250 power machines working two shifts of eight 
hours each a day, turning out garments for relief agencies. 

The peak of this work relief program, as carried on by the 
Goodwill Industries, was reached in March of 1933 when during 
that month 2,600 different people were given employment and 
the payroll amounted to $92,000.00 for that month. During this 
month more than one half of all the money paid out for work 
relief in Cook County was paid through the Goodwill Indus- 

Because of the unwieldy size of the organization resulting 
from this great increase in the program, the Relief Commis- 
sion asked the Goodwill Industries to again confine its activities 
to physically and mentally handicapped people, which the or- 
ganization was very glad to do. This still left over 600 people to 
be cared for at that time. A very excellent service program was 
developed for the rehabilitation of people through this insti- 
tution. (Continued on Page 305.) 


Early in the history of Chicago Methodism the Preachers 
organized themselves into a "Preachers' Meeting" which met 
every Monday in the old First Church. They stood there as 
the champions of religious orthodoxy. Methodism has never 
favored a debunked Christian religion. It has always accepted 
the supernatural elements in the Christian faith, and in the 
early years of Chicago Methodist history the Preachers' 
Meeting stood as the guardian of its beliefs in the supernatur- 

There were giants in the faith in those days and they had 
a Christian experience which supported what they believed. 
They were in deadly earnest in preaching the Faith and re- 
garded themselves as the successors of the Johns and Pauls 
and Peters of New Testament times. They met on the Monday 
mornings and papers were read on every vital subject, but 


pre-eminently on the doctrines of the Church. Through those 
early years of Chicago's history they contended earnestly for 
the faith once delivered to the Saints. 

Then they stood for the highest moral ideals. They 
fought the liquor traffic, with all its attendant evils, with in- 
defatigable zeal through the decades. Many times they sent 
committees to the Mayor and City Council and even to the 
Governor and the Legislature at Springfield seeking an im- 
provement of moral and social conditions and more strict regu- 
lation of the liquor traffic and suppression of vice. 

Their Christian fellowship in those days was very sweet 
to themselves. They talked over their Sunday services and 
Christian theology and were aflame with zeal for the building 
up of the Church. It must also be recognized that their vision 
was world wide. They were interested in every realm of life 
and in all the lands the wide world round. A flame of holy 
zeal burned on the altars of their hearts for Christian missions 
in every land. 

These meetings are still being continued. They may be 
toned down somewhat, but there are the same convictions and 
there is the same passionate zeal for the welfare of the City 
and world-wide Christianity. They watch with unsleeping 
eyes over the social and moral and religious life of Chicago. 
They believe the Church is to be both the salt and light of the 
City. They are heirs of a goodly heritage and strive very ear- 
nestly to be worthy of the heroes of the yesterdays. The in- 
fluence of this Preachers' Meeting in building up the life of 
the ministers and broadening their outlook and keeping warm- 
est sympathy burning on the altar of their hearts necessarily 
means the enrichment of the life of all the Methodist churches 
in the Chicago area — John Thompson. 


The earliest written record of the Methodist Episcopal 
Preachers' Meeting of Chicago now known to exist bears date 
of October 18, 1869. The meeting was probably organized as 
early as 1854, chiefly through the efforts of the Rev. J. V. 
Watson and the Rev. Jos. H. Leonard. For many years Bro- 
ther Leonard acted as secretary. The Presiding Elder of the 
Chicago District was by election and common consent the 
president. After the division of the Chicago District into two 
and then three districts, this custom naturally changed and 
in 1891 the president was chosen from the general body. We 
transcribe from the written records and previous lists the 
presidents and secretaries to date. 



W. C. Dandy 1869-72 J. H. Bayliss 1869 

C. G. Trusdell 1870 
T. P. Marsh 1871-78 
A. J. Jutkins 1873-76 
W. C. Willing 1877-78 

E. M. Boring 1879 George Chase 1879-81 

W. C. Willing 1880 

Luke Hitchcock 1881-84 

J. W. Richards 1882-85 
C. G. Trusdell 1885-90 

W. H. Holms 1886 
E. C. Arnold 1887-90 

F. M. Bristol 1891 J. O. Foster 

C. E. Mandeville 1892 J. A. Matlack 1891 

N. H. Axtell 1893 J. T. Ladd 1893 

P. H. Swift 1894 fc _ R. W. Bland 1894 

M. M. Parkhurst 1895 M. W. Satterfield 1895 

W. H. Holmes 1896 W. E. Tilroe 1896 

A. W. Patten 1897 T. R. Greene 1897 

William Fawcett 1898 R. B. Kester 1898 

J. P. Brushingham 1899 O. F. Mattison 1899 

H. F. Fick 1900 A. E. Saunders 1900 

W. E. Tilroe 1901 W. H. Carwardine 1901 

M. E. Cady 1902 W. B. Norton 1902 

E. B. Crawford 1903 C. H. Zimmerman 1903 

John D. Leek 1904 F. S. Rockwell 1904 

W. O. Shepard 1905 Clyde L. Hay 1905 

Ray C. Harker 1906 A. A. Mohney 1906-08 

J. A. Mulfinger 1907 

W. J. Libberton 1908 

G. K. Flack 1909 C. A. Briggs, Jr 1909-10 

John Thompson 1910 

James M. Phelps 1911 William C. Godden 1911-16 

Charles B. Mitchell 1912 

Joseph L. Walker 1913 

Jesse S. Dancey 1914 

Amary S. Haskins 1915 

Thomas K. Gale 1916 

J. S. Ladd Thomas 1917 Clyde D. King 1917-18 

F. F. Farmiloe 1918 

William C. Godden 1919 J. J. Williams 1919 

Charles K. Carpenter 1920 Arthur W. Mohns 1920-22 

William R. Wedderspoon 1921 

Truman R. Greene 1922 

Frank W. Barnum 1923 Bertram G. Swaney 1923-25 


C. Claud Travis 1924 
Fred D. Stone 1925 

Aimer M. Pennewell 1926 Clyde D. King 1926 

Horace G. Smith 1927 Warren N. Clark 1927 

King D. Beach 192S Charles H. Draper 1928-30 

Harlow V. Holt 1929 
Warren N. Clark 1930 

Morgan Williams 1931 Milton D. Bayly 1931-34 

R. L. Semans 1932 

B. G. Swaney 1933 

A. Turley Stephenson 1934 

Steuart D. White 1935 Charles H. Putnam 1935-39 

Milton D. Bayly 1936 

John M. Schneider 1937 

Clarence H. Diercks 1938 

Paul W T . Grimes 1939 

J. J. Hitchens 1940 Harold K. Taylor 1940- 

Rock River Branch 

In the opening years of the new century a small group of 
men in the Rock River Conference who had been together in 
Northwestern University organized informally for the purpose 
of promoting in the conference a modern understanding of the 
Bible, a liberal theology and the social interpretation and appli- 
cation of the Gospel. 

With this group as a nucleus in 1907 a small national group 
of preachers with a few laymen formed the national organiza- 
tion of The Methodist Federation for Social Service ; Harry F. 
Ward of our conference became Editorial Secretary on a vol- 
unteer basis. It was this group that got the Social Creed adop- 
ted at the General Conference of 1908 at Baltimore ; and shortly 
thereafter in expanded form under the leadership of Frank 
Mason North it was adopted by the newly formed Federal 
Council of Churches, and later by the leading Protestant de- 
nominations, the Y. W. C. A. and Y. M. C. A. 

This declaration of principles became the expression of 
the social faith of thirty-one Protestant denominations com- 
prising some seventeen million members. It was the first crys- 
tallization in concrete demands of the common conviction of 
the Protestant churches concerning their duty in the field of 
social and industrial relations. 

It was then that the informal group in Rock River Con- 
ference became active in forming and carrying on the Con- 


ference Federation unit. In 1912, Bishop Francis J. McConnell 
assumed the presidency; Harry F. Ward, leaving his 
Rock River pastorate, became secretary of the national organi- 
zation. In these early days the secretaryship was a venture of 
faith and he taught part-time at Boston (1913-18). 

D. D. Vaughan was the leading spirit in organizing the 
Rock River Branch and built it up to where it gave as much as 
$600 one year, a very important part of the small Federation 
budget. This was the first group in any conference, and the first 
to get conference pronouncements adopted and published, 
which was just as vital to the extension of the work as its fin- 
ancial support. 

The Federation has played an important part in the de- 
velopment of the social point of view in the various depart- 
ments of the church. It has also worked effectively through 
social service commissions in the conferences. There are now 
sixteen conference Federation units. Sixty-two annual confer- 
ences have Federation members. The total mailing list of the 
Social Questions Bulletin numbers 3,250. From time to time the 
General Conference has recognized and commended the work 
of the Federation. 

The Rock River group has held an annual social service 
dinner at conference time. Election of officers is usually held 
at a mid-year meeting in the Spring. The local group has co- 
operated with interdenominational and interfaith groups such 
as the United Christian Council For Democracy and the Reli- 
gion and Labor Foundation. In 1937, when W. B. Waltmire was 
chairman it published the findings in its investigation of the 
Fansteel Sitdown Strike, and participated in the public Protest 
of the Memorial Day Massacre. In 1939 a documented brochure 
was published on the Freedom of the Pulpit. 

During the last three years Armand Guerrero has been 
chairman of the conference group. F. J. Schnell is the new 
chairman. Other officers are: Warren N. Clark, vice-chair- 
man; Armand Guerrero, secretary; Esther Bjornberg, treas- 
urer ; Advisory committee : Ernest F. Tittle, Harris F. Rail, Irl 


In the year 1899, four young preachers, Harry F. Ward, 
Frank Sherman, J. Hastie Odgers and Louis F. W. Lesemann 
felt the need of the fellowship of kindred spirits and even more, 
the need of a better understanding regarding some burning 


questions. They agreed to start a small club which was simply 
to be known as "The Group". They chose a few additional 
members and kept the whole project as quiet as possible for a 
number of years. 

The plan was to have a luncheon meeting once a month in 
some quiet place and have one of the members present a care- 
fully prepared paper on some vital problem, which was followed 
by frank discussion. The understanding was that there was to 
be absolute freedom in the expression of opinion and that all 
that was said in these meetings was to be strictly confidential. 
The aim was to confine membership to young ministers who 
were vitally interested in the intellectual as well as the spirit- 
ual side of their work. 

The group held a retreat twice a year at some place outside 
of the city ; Lake Bluff, Batavia, Evanston or elsewhere. These 
meetings were for the purpose of prayer, fellowship and exten- 
sive discussion of vital topics. The Group grew gradually un- 
til it numbered forty. 

In time outsiders began to voice criticism and suggested 
that if the club were thrown open to all members of the con- 
ference, it would eliminate misunderstanding, be of greater 
service and give an opportunity to a larger group to enjoy the 
fellowship and intellectual stimulus of such associations. The 
Group therefore reluctantly decided to dissolve and the mem- 
bers agreed to promote a Post-Graduate Club. Louis F. W. 
Lesemann, as chairman of the Board of Examiners, was the 
first president of this club. His successor, Dr. J. Hastie Odgers, 
was the second. 

Naturally the character of the organization was changed 
somewhat, but the Post-Graduate Club proved a real benefit to 
those who joined and stimulated fellowship, wide reading and 
sustained study. In its early days all the programs were fur- 
nished by the members of the Club itself, but later experts 
and resource men were called in to lead discussions. The Club 
cooperated with the Commission on the Conference Course of 
Study and influenced to some extent the development of post- 
graduate courses by the Commission. 


The Rock River Council of Methodist Youth is now in its 
third year. The movement was initiated and sponsored by the 
Conference Board of Education, but the planning and develop- 
ment and actual organization were in the hands of the young 
people themselves. The youth movement in the Rock River 


Conference has been a gradual growth resulting in a very real 
sense in a council of young people, by young people, for young 

The gathering of Methodist young people in Evanston in 
the early fall of 1934, out of which came the National Council 
of Methodist Youth, made the whole Church youth-conscious 
in a new way. Inquiry and debate concerning the Evanston 
gathering was brought to the floor of the Rock River Annual 
Conference at Sycamore that year, and the Conference went 
on record as desiring a place for the young people on its official 
program at the next session. As a direct result of this action, 
the Conference Board of Education at its meeting in the Chi- 
cago Temple, on November 16, 1934, with Bishop Ernest Lynn 
Waldorf present, enlarged its membership and created a new 
commission which was charged with responsibility for the 
young peoples work of the Conference. 

The first act of the leadership of the new Commission was 
to bring into the group as many young people as possible who 
were leaders in the various district organizations in order that 
the young people themselves might mould and direct the move- 
ment from the very beginning. This was the start of the new 
youth movement in the Conference. The organization as the 
Rock River Council of Methodist Youth did not take place, how- 
ever, until October 8, 1938, when the Annual Conference con- 
vened in the Chicago Temple. The first Youth Assembly under 
the new plan was held in Elgin in 1935. There was a symposium 
on "Christian Youth in the Modern World" at the afternoon 
session and a mass meeting at night. A few less than 100 were 
seated at the banquet tables in the First Methodist Church. 
Each year since then, there have been Youth Assemblies at 
the seat of the Annual Conference on Saturday afternoon and 
evening of Conference week. 

The genius of the Council and its strength are in the form 
of its organization. It is a delegated body with each church 
represented by young people who are members of the Church 
and who are under 25 years of age at the time of their election. 
Each church is entitled to three delegates elected by the young 
people to represent all the youth organizations of the Church. 
The district and conference officers of all Methodist young 
people's organizations of the Conference are also members of 
the Council, and the members of the Executive Committee of 
the Council. 

The Council has an Executive Committee which functions 
during the year. It is the chief working group. The Commit- 
tee is composed of three representatives from each district 
elected in district caucus ; of a National Councilman and alter- 
nate elected by the Executive Committee; of eight advisory 


members, six of whom are chosen by the Conference Commis- 
sion on Education ; and of additional persons up to the number 
of five chosen by the Executive Committee. 

The members of the present Executive Committee are: 
Robert Poorman, Chairman, Robert Hayden, Leona Barrett, 
Herman Will, Jr., Edith Poorman, Ken Farver, Sargent Wright, 
Vera Morse, Robert Sturnfield, Violet Floyd, George Golden, 
Irvin Woods, Gerry Houston, Burt Holmes, and Kenneth Gibbs, 
Pres. of the Chi. Fed. of E. L. 

The Advisory Members are : Rev. Olin Clarke Jones, Chair- 
man of Commission on Young Peoples Work, A. C. Crawford, 
Rev. John Tennant, Miss Maude Martin, Rev. Wesley Israel, 
Mrs. Albert E. Blomberg, and Rev. R. W. Miller, Counselor of 
Christian Education. 

Harold Knudsen is National Councilman, and Barbara 
Daniels, alternate. Former Councilmen have been Charlotte 
Krug and Truman Kirkpatrick. 

Former Chairmen of the Executive Committee have been 
Donald Lowman, previous to organization of Council, and 
Robert D. Hayden for first two years of Council. 

Herman Will, Jr., has been President of the National 
Council of Methodist Youth, and is now one of the youth mem- 
bers of the Board of Education of the Methodist Church. 


Sixty and one years ago or tnirty-nine years after the 
birth of the Rock River Conference at Mount Morris, Illinois, 
The Chicago Methodist Social Union was brought into being at 
the Clark Street Methodist Episcopal Church, the exact date 
being the first day of December, 1879. The authority for this 
statement is the first page of the first Book of Minutes of the 
Union, which book, together with Book Number Two, is now 
in the safe-keeping of Garrett Biblical Institute. Sad to say, 
the Union did not survive its early years. Why — we do not 
know, but from the same first page of the Book of Minutes we 
learn that the Union was reorganized on the 22nd day of Jan- 
uary, 1884 at the Preachers' Meeting Room, 57 W. Washing- 
ton Street. 

At the time of this reorganization in 1884 and until 1888 
the secretary was a Dr. T. P. Marsh. Here was a man who 
believed in the Union, who loved it, and who put himself — 
heart and soul — into its service. It is he who gives us the 
only information available as to the period between 1879 and 
1884. This man of foresight opens the first Book of Minutes 
with a note in which he records how the former records were 


lost and adds that, after an exhaustive examination of all 
available sources of information, he prepared a Manual con- 
taining an Historical Sketch and the Constitution, which 
Manual was issued at a banquet held at the Sherman House on 
March 31, 1885. He also tells us that a copy of the Manual is 
attached to the Minute Book and remarks, 

"It cost me great labor, but if it shall quicken interest in 
the Union I shall feel abundantly repaid. In it the history- 
is brought down to this present writing." 

Alas, the Manual which Dr. Marsh labored to prepare has 
not come down to us. At the top of the first page of the first 
Book of Minutes there is a paper clip, blackened with age. We 
may surmise that it held to that page of copy of the Manual 
which Dr. Marsh said he attached to the Minute Book, but we 
do not know. We can only regret that that which Dr. Marsh 
prepared with such great labor is not ours at this day. 

But before we pass on, let us see what happened in the 
four years during which Dr. Marsh was secretary. Early in 
1884, with the enthusiasm of youth, the Constitution was 
amended to require that banquets be held in each of the four 
months of March, June, September and December of each year. 
This schedule was followed, together with a special banquet at. 
Lake Bluff in July or August, 1885, so that there were in all, 
twenty-one banquets held in that period. In addition, there 
were sixteen business meetings of the members of the Union 
and twenty-two meetings of the Executive Committee. A 
grand total of fifty-nine events in four years. 

The first banquet after reorganization was held in April, 
1884, but there is no record of the program thereat. The 
second banquet was in honor of Bishops Ninde and Fowler. 
The theme of a banquet of 1887 was, "The Social Life of Meth- 
odism." The Minutes note that "President Horton made the 
people give practical illustrations of the topic between the 
speeches." What this means one may gather from another 
entry which reads, "Several times between speeches President 
Horton had the company move from their tables and engage in 
social conversation." At the March 1890 banquet the topic 
was, "A free lance in current reforms". Three speakers ad- 
dressed themselves to this general subject, one being Miss 
Frances E. Willard, who had been elected to membership in 
the Union in 1887. Need we guess as to the particular reform 
on which Miss Willard expressed herself. 

An important occasion is now approaching. Professor 
Charles Macauley Stuart presents a plan for its proper ob- 
servance under the auspices of the Union and a special com- 
mittee is appointed to develop the plan. Then on the nine- 
teenth day of March 1891 there is held at the Auditorium in 


the presence of 5,000 or more persons, the Centennial Com- 
memoration of Mr. Wesley's death. The sum of $1,887.50 was 
realised from the sale of boxes and reserved seats and after 
the payment of all expenses the Union had a balance of 
$808.74. "Wesley Days" were also observed in 1895-6-8, 1901 
and 1903, but not all of them were held at the Auditorium. 

Time marches on, and in February 1893 there is held at 
the Auditorium a banquet which sounds like a forerunner of 
recent meetings. The Union at that time entertained not only 
the Bishops but also the General Book Committee, the Official 
Editors, the Epworth League Cabinet and the Publishing 
Agents. This was the only banquet held that year which was 
the year of The World's Fair. Late in December a special 
committee was appointed to explain to the dues-paying mem- 
bers why they did not get their money back in the form of 
banquets. The record does not enlighten us as to the expla- 
nation which the Committee gave. The program at a banquet 
in December 1897 seems entirely to have been on the lighter 
side. Under the general topic, "Who's to Blame?" appear the 
following five sub-topics : "The Babies, The Ladies, The Lords 
of Creation, The Charge to the Jury", and lastly, "The Ver- 

The banquets of recent years have not been the only oc- 
casions of large attendance. The Rock River Conference met 
in Chicago in 1897 "and again in 1898. On the occasion of this 
second visit, the Union gave a Reception and Dinner to the 
Conference. Eight hundred were served at the Auditorium 
Hotel, one hundred at an adjacent hotel, five hundred and fiftv 
obtained their supper where they could. When all were as- 
sembled for the program, fourteen hundred and fifty were 
gathered together. No sooner was this record behind it than 
the Union set out to prepare for the only session of the General 
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church ever held in 
Chicago, and on the evening of May 2nd, 1900 it welcomed 
the General Conference at a Reception held at the Auditorium. 
At one banquet in 1903 the Governors of Illinois, Nebraska. 
Indiana and Michigan were honored ; at another 1903 banquet 
it is recorded that "Rev. Dr. William Quayle of Kansas City, 
Mo. gave a matchless address on The Larger Matters of the 
Church' ". We do not doubt but that the high adjective 
"matchless" was fully deserved. Several Federal Judges at- 
tended this banquet. 

During the late Eighties, through the Gay Ninties and 
into the New Century the Union held many meetings at differ- 
ent churches. In some instances the program at these meet- 
ings consisted only of music and recitations. Also, during this 
period the Union held many meetings of its members to dis- 


cuss questions of church polity. Thus in September 1891 it 
considered the question "Shall the Chicago District be Di- 
vided." The proposed division was condemned and it may 
interest the District Superintendents of this day and of future 
generations to know that this condemnation was based on the 
argument that it would be seriously against the greatest suc- 
cess to the Church and City Mission work to have more than 
one Presiding Elder superintending church affairs in the city. 
In March 1892 the Union urged equal Clerical and Lay Rep- 
resentation in the General Conference. "Shall Downtown 
Churches be Abandoned" was considered in 1895. A frequent 
topic was the time limit in a pastorate. Naturally this was 
first discussed from the angle, "Shall it be abandoned." and 
then from the angle, "Shall it be restored." At times, some 
of these meetings were held monthly. 

Our bishops have contributed greatly to the programs of 
the Union, Subsequent to 1893 the Board of Bishops was en- 
tertained in 1900, in 1924, and again in 1935. There is an in- 
teresting parallel in the topics of the first and last of these 
three banquets. The theme of 1906 was "The Methodism of 
Today and Tomorrow" while the theme of 1935 was "Pioneer- 
ing through the Sesquicentennial and into the Unknown Day." 
The visit of the Board of Bishops in 1924 coincided with the 
dedication of the Chicago Temple. 

In 1904 the Union said tarewell to Bishop Merrill, the 
man of sanctified intellect and welcomed Bishop McDowell, 
the man of Christian Grace. In 1912 it said a loving au 
revoir to Bishop McDowell and hailed Bishop Nicholson, the 
man of endless labours. Twelve years later the Union bade 
adieu to Bishop Nicholson and took to its heart Bishop 
Hughes, the man of golden eloquence. Finally in 1932 it said 
Godspeed to Bishop Hughes as he went to Washington and 
gave its greeting to the Bishop who is still with us, Bishop 
Waldorf, the man of irresistible energy. In 1930 there was a 
Bishops Homecoming Program with Bishops McDowell, Nichol- 
son, and Hughes as guests of honor. "The World Is My Par 
ish" was the theme of a banquet in 1932 with Bishop Hughes 
of Chicago, Bishop Pascoe of Mexico and the late Bishop Chit- 
ambar of India as speakers. It was at this banquet that the 
Union said Godspeed to Bishop Hughes. 

At times the Social Union has joined hands with its sister 
organizations in other denominations and inter-denomination- 
al banquets were held annually from 1906 to 1914 and pos- 
sibly later. Among the individual guests of recent years have 
been W. L. Stidger, Lynn Harold Hough, Henry Hitt Crane, 
Ralph W. Sockman, Merton S. Rice, Richard C. Raines, Ben- 
jamin Gregory, exchange editor from Great Britain, and 


Georgia Harkness. The last named spoke at the fourth sum- 
mer banquets held at Desplaines Camp Ground, these summer 
banquets having been initiated in 1935. 

As one would expect, Methodist organizations have had 
their evenings with the Union. In 1904 there was a Methodist 
Activities night, in 1905 a Conference Claimants night, in 1923 
the Book Committee was honored, while the World Service 
Commission was the invited guest in 1925. A parallel to this 
last event was the honoring of the Boards of Home and For- 
eign Missions in 1937. Here is a third parallel. In 1904 the 
Union entertained the presidents of a number of Methodist 
Universities and Colleges. In 1938 it honored the Board of 
Education and again had as its guests the presidents of a 
number of Methodist institutions of learning. 

The organizations which I have mentioned were of course 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1925 the Reverend 
Matt S. Hughes spoke on "The Unification of American Metho- 
dism." Immediately after Unification became a reality in 
1939 the Union, in December of that year, welcomed the new 
Council of Bishops of The Methodist Church. The attend- 
ance (1,396) was the largest on record except for the 1898 
banquet already mentioned. We have a fourth parallel in the 
banquet of December 6th, 1940. Fourteen years ago or in 
1926 the Union celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the North 
Western Christian Advocate. In the banquet just mentioned, 
which was the second banquet after Unification, the Union 
awaited the birth of the new national Christian Advocate and 
had its guest and orator, Dr. Roy L. Smith who is the Editor- 
in-Chief of this new Methodist weekly. 

So far the intellectual fare of the Union Banquets has 
been the topic of this statement, but the gastronomic fare 
cannot be entirely overlooked, so here is a menu of the Ga> 
Nineties: "Blue Points, Consomme, Trout, Tenderloin of Beef 
with Mushrooms, Peas and Potatoes, Roast Quail on toast, 
Salad, Ice cream, Cakes and Coffee — all for the price of $1.50. 

The Union is truly a union in its Board of Directors. 
There is no other unofficial body which represents so many 
Methodist interests and organizations. The financial condi- 
tion of the Union has usually been one of stringency or near 
stringency. However, at times it has had a surplus, and Wes- 
ley Hospital, City Missionary Society, Old People's Home, 
Deaconess Home, Lake Bluff Orphange and Marcy Home 
have been its beneficiaries. 

The Union at one time almost became a stag organization. 
In 1893, a committee appointed to revise the Constitution put 
forward the name, "Chicago Methodist Club" and proposed 
that membership be limited to "adult male members and mm- 



isters of the Methodist Churches of Chicago." Fortunately 
these proposals were not approved and the original name has 
carried through to this day. 

The Union never has been and is not now the lengthened 
shadow of any one man. Rather, it is the lengthened shadow 
of many men, men who have been mighty in their belief in God 
and in their service to the Church. We regret that w^ can- 
not tell the story of these men, but we can only name those 
who have held the presidential office. Such names follow : 
1879 Rev. W. C. Willing 

1880-1 Mr. Wm. Deering 
1882-3-4 Mr. O. Lunt 

1885-6-7 Mr. J. B. Hobbs. 

1888-9 Judge O. H. Horton 

1890 Mr. A. G. Lane 

1891 Mr. F. P. Crandon 

1892 Mr. G. W. Chamberlin 
1893-4 Mr. Henry Wade Rogers 

1895 Mr. C. E. Piper 

1896 Mr. G. W. Barnett 

1897 Rev. J. P. Brushingham 
1898-9 Mr. W. E. Quine 

1900 Mr. John Farson. 

1901 Mr. George W. Dixon 

1902 Judge E. W. Burke 
19C3 Mr. A. A. Gilbert 

1904 Mr. E. J. James 

1905 Mr. H. C. Staver 

1906 Mr. D. D. Thompson 

1907 Mr. J. M. Kittleman 

1908 Mr. J. B. Gascoigne 

1909 Mr. H. P. Magill 

1910 Mr. A. R. Clark 

1911 Mr. A. W. Harris 

1912 Mr. S. B. Jones 

1913 Mr. H. S. Henschen 

1914 Mr. E. H. Forkel 

1915 Mr. L. T. M. Slocum 
1916-20 See note at end. 
1921-2 Mr. C. S. Watson 
1922-3 Mr. L. E. Larson 
1923-4 Mr. G. P. Ellis 

1924-5 Mr. R. Clarence Brown 

1925-6-7 Mr. R. G. Kimbell 

1927-8-9 Mr. Burt Wheeler 

1929-30 Mr. C. O. Loucks 

1930-1 Mr. Thomas J. Dixon 

1931-2 Mr. L. S. Ingeman 

1932-3 Mr. F. J. Thielbar 

1933-4 Mr. C. J. Medler 

1934-5 Mr. Thomas H. West 

1935-6 Mr. A. C. Crawford 

1936-7 Mr. H. L. Davis 

1937-8 Mr. R. F. Clancy 

1938-9 Mr. W. H. Dangel 

1939-40 Mr. G. F. Falley 

1940-1 Mr. H. A. Young 

Even as the Union continues, this statement must come 
to an end, but how to end it is the question ? History is made 
in time and time I would compare to two cones standing point 
to point on a common axis. One cone represents the historic 
past coming to a focus at the present, the other represents the 
present expanding into the future. This statement has 
brought the historic past to a focus upon the present. Ob- 
viously the way to end this statement is to project the pres- 
ent into the expanding future. The past has been the story 
of the Social Union of The Methodist Episcopal Church, the 
future belongs to the Social Union of The Methodist Church. 
In the case of the Union, the common axis to its historic past 
and its expanding future is its object which, as stated in its 
Constitution, is 

"to promote the spiritual, civic and social interests of 
Methodism in the Chicago Area, to arouse enthusiasm, 
to secure concert of action, and to encourage a wider and 
more intimate acquaintance among Methodists.'" 

If this historical statement has served its purpose it has shown 


that the Union has been true to this objective in the historic 
past. What of the future ? Dr. Mackay, President of Prince- 
ton Theological Seminary recently said, ' 'Ultimately the uni- 
verse is a place where souls are made and where fellowship is 
to be established." Under God, The Methodist Church and 
this Social Union together will ever serve the expanding fu- 
ture to this end. This will be the manner in which the Social 
Union will continue through the ages to be true to its historic 
objective. Some future historian will have a high privilege in 
writing that story. As for your present historian, like Dr. 
Marsh, he hopes that his effort "will quicken interest in the 
Union." If so, like Dr. Marsh, he will also "feel abundantly 

THOMAS H. WEST, Historian. 

NOTE: — No minutes are available for the year 1907 to 
1920 inclusive. Partial information as to presidents and ban- 
quets during this period have been obtained from programs 
preserved by Mr. E. H. Forkel. The years 1908-11 are, how- 
ever, lost years as to banquets and the years 1916-21 los*" years 
both as to banquets and presidents. It was also from a list of 
early presidents preserved by Mr. Forkel that I was able to 
obtain the names of the two presidents prior to 1884. I wish 
to thank all those, too numerous to mention by name, who 
helped by responding so readily to my requests for informa- 
tion.— T. H. W. 


Prepared by Mrs. Hoskins, Mrs. Dangel and Mrs. McFarland 

As we turn back the pages of history and read the records 
of the men and women pioneers of Rock River Conference, we 
find these pages have been wet with the tears of sorrow and 
death, stained with the blood of patriots, yet lighted with the 
unfailing light of Christian faith and loyalty. In all the pro- 
cession of years, our men and women have dreamed dreams, 
seen visions and then set about to realize these by giving 
themselves and inspiring others, building for the future and 
their best for their own generation and for those to come. 

What was the courage of the pioneer women who rode in 
ox-carts, swam streams, aided in building log cabins and helped 
their neighbors ! What was the devotion of the wives and 
mothers of circuit riders, of travelling missionaries and pio- 
neer preachers ! When meetings were held in log cabins, when 
settlers were taking up claims, when all was wilderness, the 


women were building too. Their names are written as class 
members and leaders, and even like Barbara Heck, these wo- 
men oft times led the way for others less courageous. 

In the progress of time there have been many women 
whose service has helped to sustain the local church. Humble 
tasks faithfully performed made possible the church in the 
pioneer community. Our women were possessed too, with the 
ever increasing desire to uplift humanity everywhere, in our 
own land and nation and even to the uttermost parts of the 
earth. Immortal honors have come to some of the women of 
the Rock River Conference whose lives were spent for the 
betterment of humanity and the incoming of the Kingdom of 
God. Great names are recorded in the fields of education, of 
temperance, of social service, of the Home and Foreign Mis- 
sionary Societies and of institutional service. Many might be 
named but space permits only those like Eliza Garrett, Isa- 
bella Thoburn, Lucy Ryder Meyers and Frances E. Willard. 
Whether we go back to the classes or churches founded at 
Galena, Plainfield, Dixon and those in Chicago or to each es- 
tablished in Rock River Conference, we know that the women 
have worked and prayed for the church as an aid for the 
pastor, caring for the physical, the social, the educational and 
spiritual needs of the church. 

For many years the women of each church were working 
independently, each group as a separate unit. They were 
brought together first, perhaps for missionary purposes in 
national, conference and smaller organizations. Much later, 
the women who constituted the Aid or Guild of the churches 
also followed the trend for organized effort and there began 
the Methodist Women's Association of Rock River Conference 
in 1922. The Association gained in strength and numbers and 
was the mother of several similar associations in other con- 
ferences. The work done by the Association is recognized by 
its leadership in the united Woman's Society of Christian Ser- 
vice in the department of Christian Social Relations and Local 
Church Activities. 


At a time when colleges were first opening their doors to 
females and graduates were coming forth prepared for Christ- 
ian work somewhere, God's hand pointed to new fields on the 
other side of the sea. This new call demanded an organization 
on the home base for its support and a new society came into 
being. Only three months after that famous rainy day in 


Boston when the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society was 
begun, the first society of the Mid-West was formed in Third 
Street, now Centennial Church, Rockford and June 20, 1869 
marked the beginning of foreign missionary work among the 
women of Rock River Conference. 

Women had indeed taken an unheard of step. Bishops 
were disturbed, missionary secretaries were perplexed and the 
brethren advised them to raise the money but leave the ad- 
ministration of the work to the Board at home and the mis- 
sions in the field. It was not the aim of the women to form 
another "auxiliary society" and they had learned through the 
tragic days of the Civil War that they could take their place 
alongside the men in administration. "To avoid collusions at 
home" the women were to take no collections or subscriptions 
in any promiscuous assembly but to raise their funds in such 
ways as would not interfere with the Parent Society. One good 
Bishop objected to the new society on the grounds that "it 
generally took three-fourths of the funds to pay the expenses 
of a ladies' organization." This idea has been refuted over 
and over again in the history of the W. F. M. S. 

The work of Mrs. Jennie Fowler Willing, an organizer of 
this new work, stands out as she traveled throughout this en- 
tire section, bringing women together and arousing their en- 
thusiasm for missionary work in other lands. 

Early records give the names of many churches of this 
Conference where auxiliaries were formed and have been ac- 
tive through the seventy years. Many subscriptions for the 
Heathen Woman's Friend, (later the Woman's Missionary 
Friend) came from the newly formed auxiliaries in Rockford 
District. Interest thus established, increased until at the end 
of ten years there were ninety auxiliaries and eighteen hun- 
dred and eighty-two members of the W. F. M. S. within the 
bounds of the Conference. 

The names of Miss Frances E. Willard and her mother, 
Mrs. Mary Willard, should be recorded among those interested 
in the early days. Space does not allow the listing of names, 
but wives of Governors, of Generals, of Congressmen and many 
others whose interest in institutions in and around Chicago 
is memorialized, were likewise prominent in the foreign mis- 
sionary work. 

The Wesleyan Service Guild, an organization for business 
and professional women, had its beginnings in this conference 
under the leadership of Miss Marion Lela Norris and was 
formally accepted by the general society in 1922. 

The first offering of two cents a week and a prayer went 
on to Thank Offerings, Mite Boxes, Christmas Offerings until 
the peak of giving was reached in 1927-28 when $103,197.50 


came into the treasury. During the last year of the existing 
society the offering for Rock River Conference was $52,040, 
with a combined membership of 12,000. 

And so through the years, Rock River Conference women 
have been loyal supporters of the W. F. M. S., giving unstint- 
ingly of their time, their talents, and their possessions that 
His name might be glorified around the world. 


The Woman's Home Missionary Society of Rock River 
Conference was organized in April, 1882. A committee from 
the Ministerial Conference which had been appointed to study 
the work of the Woman's Home Missionary Society brought 
in a favorable report and the Conference endorsed and adopted 
the Society. 

The first officers were: president, Mrs. Luke Hitchcock; 
corresponding secretary, Mrs. Elizabeth Marcy; recording 
secretary, Mrs. Jessie Brown. 

In 1900 the Rock River Conference Woman's Home Mis- 
sionary Society became a part of the National Society. 

The first Conference work was begun in 1883 for the 
Bohemian people at 300 Maxwell Street. This was carried on 
in co-operation with the City Missionary and Church Exten- 
sion Society but later this work was taken over entirely by the 
women. The work grew so rapidly that by 1889 it was neces- 
sary to seek larger quarters and the building at Newberry and 
Maxwell streets was built and dedicated in 1896. This was 
named the Elizabeth E. Marcy Home. 

In 1922 this work was transferred to the National Society. 
In 1930, Marcy Center moved from the ghetto to 1539 South 
Springfield Avenue and on November 30, 1930, the beautiful 
new building costing $250,000 was dedicated. This was one 
of the Jubilee projects. Miss Anna Heistad has been the be- 
loved Superintendent of Marcy for many years. Work is still 
carried on in the old building under the name of Newberry 
Avenue Center. 

In 1912 a Home for Working Girls was opened in the 
Hobbs House on the near North side and later another home 
for girls was opened on the South side, named the Queen Es- 
ther Home. It was sponsored by the Conference Queen Esther 
Circle under the leadership of Mrs. W. H. Dangel. In 1920 
these two homes were combined and in 1925 the present home 
at 537 Melrose Street was purchased. For twenty-three years 


Mrs. N. J. Ludington has been the efficient Chairman of this 

In 1922, through the efforts of Mrs. M. Hubbell and a 
group of Conference women, Friendship Home at 3015 Prairie 
Avenue was purchased. Here many Negro girls found a real 
home and protection from evil influences. 

On March 1st, 1916, Peek Orphanage at Polo was opened. 
Mr. and Mrs. Peek gave their fine farm of 154 acres to the 
Society and a splendid new building was dedicated April 26th, 

Throughout its fifty-eight years, the W. H. M. S. has 
aided twenty churches of Rock River Conference by paying 
for a worker and furnishing money. In addition to this, the 
Conference has had a share in all the work of the National 
Society. Boxes and barrels of supplies have gone to the needy 
all over the United States. At the present time the Society 
has work in Halsted Street, Lincoln Street, Bohemian First 
Churches in Chicago and Winnebago Street Church at Rock- 

Did space permit, many of the faithful women who have 
served during these years should be recognized. 

June 12th, 1940 the last meeting of the Woman's Home 
Missionary Society was held in First Church, Elgin. It was 
a time of inspiration and uplift. The women of Rock River 
Conference are going forward united to face the future with 
its responsibilities, with a song on their lips and a prayer in 
their hearts, with strong faith and courage 'to expect great 
things of God and attempt great things for God." 


As a background for the history of the Laymen's As- 
sociation of the Rock River Conference it may be of interest 
to trace briefly the development of lay representation in the 
councils of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the share that 
Rock River laymen have had in that development. 

Prior to 1872 the government and control of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, apart from the direction of purely local 
matters, appears to have been vested wholly in the ministry. 
After a rather stormy session of the General Conference of 
1868, meeting in Chicago, a report was adopted providing that 
"if approved by the people "two lay delegates from each Annual 
Conference should sit in the General Conference of 1872 and 
thereafter, and should have an equal place with the Ministerial 


Delegates in the deliberations of that Conference. The report 
provided for the method of ascertaining the will of the mem- 
bers of the Church in this matter and for the manner of selec- 
ting the Lay Delegates in case the membership should vote 
favorably. For this selection, a Lay Electoral Conference was 
authorized which should meet at the time and place of the 
several Annual Conferences next proceding the meeting of the 
General Conference, to be composed of one delegate from each 
pastoral charge, and which should proceed to elect the two Lay 
Delegates to represent the Annual Conference. 

The General Conferences of 1860 and 1864 had likewise 
voted in favor of the principle of lay representation whenever 
the people should desire it but took no further action. 

Accordingly, the membership of the Church, having voted 
favorably on the proposal for lay representation, and the 
ministers in the Annual Conferences having voted similarly by 
4915 votes for and 1597 against, the membership of the Church 
was represented in the General Conference of 1872, held in 
Brooklyn, New York, by two Lay Delegates from each Annual 
Conference, in addition to the Ministerial Delegates who were 
elected on a proportional basis, one delegate for every thirty 
ministers in the Annual Conference. The lay delegates in 
that General Conference representing the Rock River Con- 
ference were Mr. Grant Goodrich of Chicago and Mr. B. F. 
Sheets of Oregon, Illinois. Mr. William Deering, later of the 
Rock River Conference, was a Lay Delegate from the Maine 

The principle of lay representation having been thus es- 
tablished and entered upon, the Annual Conference continued 
to have two lay delegates each in the General Conference until 
the session of 1900. At each intervening conference the ques- 
tion of lay representation in one form or another was up for 
consideration. At the conference of 1876 a committee was ap- 
pointed to consider the whole question of lay representation 
in the government of the Church, to report four years later, 
and of that committee Mr. Orrington Lunt, a reserve Lay Dele- 
gate from the Rock River Conference, was a member. This 
committee's report, presented to the General Conference of 
1880, provided for lay representation in the Annual Confer- 
ence, one layman for every six quarterly conferences in each 
district, such laymen when chosen to be full members of the 
Annual Conference with a vote on all questions except mini- 
sterial character and relations. After full consideration and 
an extended debate the report was laid on the table by a vote 
of 184 to 140. 

Among the questions affecting laymen which came before 
the sessions of the General Conference in the interval under 


consideration was that of the eligibility of women to member- 
ship in that conference. As one of the two Lay Delegates to 
which the Rock River Conference was entitled in the General 
Conference of 1888, it had elected Miss Frances E. Willard, 
and on her appearance for admission the issue was forced to 
the front. After an intense debate a resolution was adopted 
to the effect that women were not eligible to membership in 
the General Conference, and it was not till twelve years later 
that this decision was reversed. 

Representation in the General Conference by two dele- 
gates from each Annual Conference was at no time satisfac- 
tory to the laymen, though recognized as an advance from 
former conditions, and the question of equal membership be- 
tween ministers and laymen was given consideration in every 
General Conference following 1872. The General Conference 
of 1896 directed that the question should be submitted to the 
Annual Conferences and if the vote should prove favorable, the 
Lay Electoral Conferences of 1899 and 1900 might select pro- 
visional delegates to the ensuing General Conference in num- 
bers equal to those elected by the ministers. The right of 
these provisional delegates to sit in the General Conference 
would then be determined finally by action of that Conference 
at its session in 1900 which was to meet in Chicago. 

To promote favorable action throughout the Church on 
this question, a campaign was initiated in Chicago which fin- 
ally met with satisfactory results. On September 20, 1897, a 
letter was sent to representative laymen of the Rock River 
Conference which read as follows: 

"The recent third defeat, since 1872, by the ministry, of 
the proposition for equal lay representation in the General 
Conference, emphasizes the fact that without organization of 
the laymen of the Church the same result will follow every 
such proposition indefinitely. One of the best and wisest 
means of advancing our interests is undoubtedly the forma- 
tion of Conference associations to meet annually for discussing 
this and other live topics connected with our beloved Church. 
It has seemed to the undersigned that an association such as 
is proposed will not only provide for the laymen a medium 
through which they can be heard on all Church questions, but 
it will also be the means of extending their acquaintance and 
their interest in each other. If you agree with us, kindly fill 
out, date, and sign the attached slip and return it in the en- 
closed envelope." 

Signed, Wm. Deering, A. G. Lane, J. B. Hobbs, L. L. Bond, 
A. F. Nightingale, John R. Lindgren, M. E. Cole, N. W. Harris, 
M. H. Wilson, Henry Wade Rogers, George H. Sargent, F. D. 
Raymond, J. F. Cleveland, D. D. Thompson, O. H. Horton, D. 


Bonbright, H. H. C. Miller, H. R. Wilson, W. A. Dyche, John 
Farson, Frank P. Crandon. 

The names attached to this letter will be recognized as 
carrying the weight of Chicago Methodism of that day and the 
response was so general that a call was issued to every pas- 
toral charge in the conference, asking laymen to meet at the 
First Methodist Episcopal Church, Chicago, on Friday, October 
8, 1897, to consider the questions mentioned in the letter and 
such other matters as might be related. The attendance at 
this meeting was large and came from all parts of the Con- 

Mr. William Deering presided and urged the laymen pres- 
ent to adopt a definite program ; first, to promote equal lay 
representation in the General Conference; second, to start a 
movement for lay representation in the Annual Conference; 
third, to encourage laymen to make themselves familiar with 
general church affairs and thus become more intelligently ac- 
tive in Church work at home and abroad. 

Bishop Stephen Merrill was present by invitation and 
made the principal address, expressing himself as in favor of 
the admission of laymen to the General Conference in equal 
numbers with the ministers. Brief statements were made al- 
so by other persons. After a full discussion the following 
resolution was adopted: 

"In the judgment of the laymen of the Rock River Con- 
ference here assembled, Lay Representation in the General 
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church strengthens 
and develops every department of Church work, stimulates an 
interest in all church enterprises, and tends to increase the 
uniformity and harmony on which the success of all Christian 
effort depends; that such representation in order to produce 
its best results should be on an equality with the ministerial 
representation in that body. 

"We request the Rock River Conference now in session to 
propose to the other conferences to so modify the present re- 
strictive rule as to provide for equal lay and clerical represen- 
tations in the General Conference." 

A committee was appointed to carry the action to the Rock 
River Annual Conference, in session at the time in the Western 
Avenue Church, Chicago, Bishop Merrill presiding. The mem- 
bers of the committee were Wm. Deering, James B. Hobbs, G. 
F. Swift, M. E. Cole and 0. H. Horton. The Annual Confer- 
ence, after referring the matter to a committee, unanimously 
adopted a resolution requesting the Bishops to submit the 
question of equal representations to the Annual Conferences at 
their first regular sessions following January 1, 1898, the vote 


to be taken on an amendment to the Constitution which would 
provide as follows : 

'The Lay Delegates in the General Conference shall con- 
sist of one Layman for each Annual Conference except such 
Conferences as have more than one Ministerial Delegate, which 
Conferences shall be entitled to as many Lay Delegates as 
Ministerial Delegates." 

This proposed action came to be known as the Rock River 
Amendment to the Constitution of the Church and as such was 
voted on by the Annual Conferences. When all had voted the 
count stood 9270 for the amendment and 1524 against. This 
result was reported to the General Conference in Chicago. May 
1st, 1900, whereupon the General Conference itself unani- 
mously voted to adopt the amendment. 

Thus after many years of discussion the General Confer- 
ence of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the supreme legisla- 
tive authority in the church, became a body made up of equal 
numbers of ministers and laymen, on the acceptance of an 
action originating in a convention of laymen representing the 
various pastoral charges in the Rock River Conference. 

Following the final action by the General Conference ap- 
proving equal lay and ministerial membership, the provisional 
delegates elected by the several Lay Electoral Conferences 
were seated as members of that Conference. The delegates 
elected by the Rock River Electoral Conference were Wm. 
Deering and B. F. Sheets, regular delegates and 0. H. Horton, 
G. W. Moss, E. S. Monroe, C. M. Whipple, N. G. VanSant, pro- 
visional delegates. 

Organization of the Laymen's Association. 

The convention of October 8, 1897, proposed further the 
formation of a Laymen's Association within the bounds of the 
Annual Conference which should meet at the same time as the 
Annual Conference for the discussion of questions in which 
the laymen might be primarily interested. A second conven- 
tion was held on December 9, 1897, after due notice to persons 
attending the earlier conference and to all pastoral charges in 
the Rock River Conference. This second assembly met also in 
First Church, Chicago, at which time a permanent organiza- 
tion was effected, a constitution adopted, and the following of- 
ficers elected: President, Judge Oliver H. Horton; Secretary, 
Mr. C. C. Bartlett; Treasurer, Mr. N. W. Harris. 

Under the constitution, membership in the Association 
was to consist of delegates from the pastoral charges in the 
Conference, elected as the laymen of the charge might deter- 
mine. Notwithstanding the ruling of the General Conference 
in 1888 that the term "layman" included only male members 


of the church, it was voted, with practical unanimity, there 
being only three adverse votes, that women would be welcome 
as members of the Association. 

The object of the Laymen's Association was defined to be: 
'To mutually interest the laymen within the bounds of the 
Rock River Conference in the governmental and general af- 
fairs of the church whereby the church may be stimulated to 
greater efficiency and usefulness in the hands of God in ad- 
vancing His cause." 

The first annual meeting of the Laymen's Association of 
the Rock River Conference was held in the first Baptist Church, 
Chicago, on October 5, 1898, the Annual Conference being then 
in session in South Park Avenue Church, Bishop Warren pre- 
siding. There were three hundred and forty-three laymen 
present from one hundred and eleven charges. Judge Horton 
was the presiding officer, Bishop Warren and Dr. Arthur Ed- 
wards, Editor of the Northwestern Christian Advocate, ad- 
dressed the Association. 

A report was made by the Secretary, Mr. C. C. Bartlett, on 
the progress in the Annual Conferences throughout the church, 
of the Rock River Amendment affecting lay membership in the 
General Conference. While the vote was not complete there 
was an indication that the Amendment would be approved by 
the requisite majority. This meeting of the Association is 
recorded in the minutes of the Rock River Annual Conference 
among the Anniversaries of the Conference under the desig- 
nation "Laymen's Mass Meeting." 

This first annual meeting of the Laymen's Association in 
1898 was followed by similar meetings, year by year, at the 
same time and place as the Rock River Annual Conference un- 
til 1932 when the Lay Conference was established by action 
of the General Conference. The Laymen's Association was a 
voluntary gathering of interested laymen, having no author- 
ity or official recognition, but was representative of 
the lay membership in the sense that under its consti- 
tution each pastoral charge in the Conference was asked to 
name one delegate to attend the annual meetings and a sec- 
ond delegate in case the membership of the charge should ex- 
ceed one hundred. By vote of those in attendance, however, 
the privilege of taking part in the discussions of the Associa- 
tion was frequently extended to all persons present. 

On the other hand, the Lay Conference was a delegated 
body, one member from each pastoral charge, with defined 
functions, among which were the election of Lay Delegates to 
the General Conference and the approval or disapproval of pro- 
posed constitutional amendments, thus replacing the Lay 
Electoral Conference. 



The final session of the Laymen's Association, the 35th, 
was held in conjunction with the initial Lay Conference at 
Dixon, Illinois, on October 12, 1932. The presiding officer at 
this session was Professor F. W. Phillips of DeKalb and the 
Secretary was Mr. Burke Adams of Chicago. Action was taken 
at this session to refer to a committee composed of the Bishop 
of the Area and the officers of the Association and of the Lay 
Conference the question of continuing the Laymen's Associa- 
tion and its future field of activities. The records fail to show 
a report from this committee and no subsequent sessions were 

Officers of the Association 

The following persons served as President and Secretary, 
respectively, of the Laymen's Association at the sessions in- 
dicated, having been elected for the most part at the preceding 
session and having served through the intervening year. 

Year President 

1898 Oliver H. Horton, 

1899 Oliver H. Horton, 

1900 Oliver H. Horton, 

1901 Oliver H. Horton, 

1902 Oliver H. Horton, 

1903 Oliver H. Horton, 

1904 Oliver H. Horton, 

1905 Oliver H. Horton, 

1906 James B. Hobbs, 

1907 James B. Hobbs, 

1908 James B. Hobbs, 

1909 James M. Kittleman, Berwyn 

1910 Wm. M. Shimmin, Rockford 

1911 D. W. Potter, Chicago 

1912 D. W. Potter, 

1913 John B. Meacham, Joliet 

1914 Abram W. Harris, Evanston 

1915 Edward C. Page, DeKalb 

1916 Edwin S. Monroe, Chicago 

1917 James E. MacMurray, Chicago 

1918 James A. James, Evanston 

1919 H. B. Williams, Evanston 

1920 W. T. Jennings, Sterling 

1921 A. H. Andrews, Chicago 

1922 Henry S. Henschen, Chicago 

1923 George H. Stineback, Oak Park 

1924 Roy O. Roberts, Chicago 

1925 Raymond G. Kimbell, Chicago 

1926 J. R. Jackson, Freeport 


C. C. Bartlett 

C. C. Bartlett 

C. C. Bartlett 

C. C. Bartlett 

C. C. Bartlett 

C. C. Bartlett 

H. B. Williams 

H. B. Williams 

H. B. Williams 

H. B. Williams 

H. B. Williams 

H. B. Williams 

H. B. Williams 

H. B. Williams 

H. B. Williams 

H. B. Williams 

H. B. Williams 

H. B. Williams 

H. B. Williams 

E. H. Forkel 

E. H. Forkel 

J. M. Kittleman 

J. M. Kittleman 

J. M. Kittleman 

J. M. Kittleman 

J. M. Kittleman 

J. M. Kittleman 

J. M. Kittleman 

J. M. Kittleman 


1927 Lester E. Lee, Chicago J. M. Kittleman 

1928 H. L. Guyer, Polo J. M. Kittleman 

1929 L. S. Ingemann, Chicago Charles S. Watson 

1930 George P. Ellis, Chicago Peter M. Black 

1931 Jacob Cantlin, Rock Falls Burke Adams 

1932 F. W. Phillips, DeKalb Burke Adams 
As Treasurer of the Association, Mr. N. W. Harris served 

from the initial meeting in 1897 till the session of 1911; Mr. 
Hubert A. Clark served for one year, 1911-12; Mr. E. L. Wag- 
ner for twelve years, 1912-24 ; Mr. George P. Ellis, 1924-1929 ; 
Mr. Charles O. Loucks, 1929-31 ; and Mr. Lester E. Lee, 1931- 

The activities of the Laymen's Association were not con- 
fined to matters affecting laymen only, or of purely local con- 
cern, but were extended to include questions of general church 
policy as well. A few excerpts from the minutes of the Associa- 
tion at various sessions will indicate the breadth of interest. 

At the session of 1902, the fifth annual session, recom- 
mendations were made to the following effect : 

1. That the selection of the Publishing Agents should 
rest with the Book Committee rather than with the General 

2. That a joint committee of laymen and ministers be 
appointed to arrange a Congress of Methodists for Illinois to 
be held in Chicago during the following year. 

3. That there should be lay representation in the Annual 

4. That lay representation in the Bishop's Cabinet, so 
called, would be of great advantage. 

5. That with a view to harmonizing the relationship be- 
tween the Annual Conference and laymen, the General Con- 
ference should be petitioned to give official recognition to Lay 

6. That Presiding Elders should be elected by the An- 
nual Conference. 

7. That our schools and pulpits should be guarded with 
conscientious fidelity against all strange and erroneous doc- 

In 1903, this being a joint session with the Lay Electoral 
Conference, the Association: 

1. Reaffirmed its declaration against the liquor traffic. 

2. Requested the General Conference to reduce its size 
in the interest of economy. 

3. Requested a return to the five year limit for pastors. 

4. Proposed a semi-annual meeting of the Bishops with 
the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and a 


free transfer of ministers between the two churches in the 

interest of church union. 


1. Favored the maintenance of a Central Downtown 
Church in Chicago, as a general head quarters for Methodism 
in the city. 

2. Recommended that provision be made for the support 
and comfort of retired Deaconesses. 


Resolved to memorialize the General Conference to 
separate the oversight of Sunday Schools from other benevo- 
lence Boards and to instruct the Annual Conference at its year- 
ly session to observe an Anniversary in the interest of Sunday 

1. Advised that our pastors should share more gen- 
enously in the material prosperity of the country especially 
when their work indicates marked ability and faithfulness. 

2. Resolved that in the opinion of the Laymen's Associa- 
tion all custodians of funds of Conference Societies should be 
required to give bonds in some surety corporation for the 
faithful handling of said funds. 


A joint memorial with the ministers was adopted re- 
questing the General Conference to establish a Department of 
Industrial and Social Relations in the Board of Home Missions. 
Also to adopt measures to restore the efficiency of Lay 

Favored the consolidation of weak churches in the in- 
terest of more efficient work and believing that thereby pas- 
tors will be better paid. 

In 1923, the Association appointed a Commission to exam- 
ine the financial condition of all church properties in the 
Rock River Conference. This commission reported the follow- 
ing year recommending the formation of an Executive Office 
in Chicago in which there should be kept files of the records of 
all church property and a bureau of financial information. 
Later it presented an extended report covering the condi- 
dition of many pieces of church property. 

In 1927, the Association voted to petition the General Con- 
ference to study the possibility of reducing the number of 
Church Boards of Benevolence; also to provide a reading 
course for laymen on the history, polity, and program of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. 

In 1929, the Association voted favorably on movements 


looking toward the unification of the several Methodist 
Churches in the United States and especially on the unification 
of Evangelical Churches in foreign mission fields. It also pro- 
posed the establishment of noon-day religious services in Chi- 

In 1930, the Association adopted resolutions favoring a 
uniform fiscal year for all Benevolence Boards and the addition 
of a Committee of the Quarterly Conference on World Peace. 

Such a committee was authorized by the General Confer- 
ence of 1936. 

The major activity of the Association in the later years of 
its existence was the promotion of Lay Representation in the 
Annual Conference. At each session a report was presented 
showing the progress throughout the church in the de- 
velopment of sentiment favorable to such a constitutional 
change. For several years the question was promoted most 
actively by Mr. E. C. Page of DeKalb and following his death 
in 1929, it was taken up by Mr. R. Clarence Brown of Evans- 
ton, who was largely instrumental in perfecting the legisla- 
tion in the General Conference of 1932 which gave to laymen a 
partial voice in Annual Conference affairs. 

With the consummation of the Union of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and 
the Methodist Protestant Church in 1939, Lay membership in 
the Annual Conference became an accomplished fact. This 
result added to equal Lay Representation in the General Con- 
ference and many other progressive changes following actions 
by the Rock River Laymen's Association fully justified its or- 
ganization and its existence for thirty-five years. 

This history has been prepared from the General Conference Journal, 
the Rock River Conference Minutes, and the recorded minutes of the 
Laymen's Association. This latter volume has been deposited in the Library 
of Garrett Biblical Institute for safe keeping.— Thomas F. Holgate. 


Centennial Churches 


The Methodist Church in Galena is the oldest church or- 
ganization in the Rock River Conference. In 1828 the Illinois 
Conference, out of which the Rock River was carved, appointed 
John Dew pastor at Galena. When he reached his parish he 
iound Rev. Reeves Carmack on the ground, a local Methodist 
preacher. For several years Carmack had been marrying the 
living and burying the dead in his capacity of clergyman, and 
while there is no direct evidence of the fact it is believed he 
was an ordained minister. 

Certainly the church dates back to 1828 when Dew became 
its pastor, but probably should be reckoned three years older 
than that, for Reeves Carmack seems to have been an organ- 
izer. He was not an irregular, irresponsible church worker. The 
local preacher was a definite and regular part of the Methodist 
ministry, used, especially in those early days, to push organi- 
zation of the church into frontier places. 

John Dew, at the end of his one year's pastorate, reported 
only six members as belonging to the Galena Church. He was 
then made President of McKendree College at Lebanon, Illinois, 
and was succeeded in Galena by Benjamin C. Stephenson. 
Stephenson stayed only one year in the mining town, and in- 
creased the church membership to twelve. Then came John T. 
Mitchell who stayed two years and built up the membership to 
seventy-five, a growth of twelve hundred per cent. Seventy- 
five members meant much in a mining town where men were 
busy digging in the hills and hollows for material wealth, and 
not much concerned about spiritual riches. Conditions of life 
were hard at best. Log houses, most of them with dirt floors 
open fires with primitive cooking utensils, tallow candles and 
none too many of them, no glass in the windows, all the hard- 
ships of pioneer life, furnished the conditions amidst which the 
Galena church was founded and began its more than a century 
of helpful and inspiring influence upon a community which 
has played well its part in the history of this nation. 

The Galena congregation started in a frame structure 
which one bitter cold night in January, 1838, went up in flames. 
With difficulty a stone and brick building was put in its place. 
That was too small in 1856, and the present commodious brick 
structure was erected 

Among the many well remembered pastors of the Galena 


church the most outstanding personality was John H. Vincent 
who served from 1859 to 1861. In the congregation of this man, 
who became one of the greatest Bishops of Methodism, was 
U. S. Grant, who sat with his family in a pew now well marked 
as the one used for twenty years, whenever he was in Galena, 
by the man who, next to Abraham Lincoln, saved the Union 
from being torn to pieces by the Civil War. While in Galena 
John H. Vincent formed his Palestine classes, the forerun- 
ners of his great Chautauqua movement, so Galena Methodists 
claim the Chautauqua movement was born in their church and 
their town. 


The Plainfield church, the first of Methodist denomination 
in northern Illinois, was the outgrowth of an Indian mission 
founded in 1826 by Father Jesse Walker, a missionary to the 
Indians. In 1829 a Methodist class was formed among the 
white settlers with the following as members: Jesse Walker 
and Susannah, his wife, James Walker and his wife, Mr. Fisk 
and wife, Timothy B. Clark and wife, and Mr. Weed and wife. 
The first church building was a crude log cabin schoolhouse. 
Father Walker had charge of the congregation until 1832 when 
Stephen R. Beggs took charge with Father Walker as presid- 
ing elder. Father Beggs was the builder of a rude fort which 
at one time sheltered 125 settlers from the ravages of the In- 
dians. In 1831 Father Beggs, then a circuit rider, journeyed 
to Chicago from Plainfield, and preached at the fort and at the 
the schoolhouse. The result was the formation of a Methodist 
class that has grown into the great Chicago Temple. About 
this time, the lumber to make the first house in Chicago was 
hauled from Plainfield to Chicago by Mr. Flagg. 

The second church, built in 1833, was also used by the 
Congregationalists and during the week as a schoolhouse. The 
third building erected in 1838 stood nearly in the center of 
what is now the business section of town. 

In 1848 Plainfield became a station, with John C. Shreffler, 
Daniel Tonner, John Beecher, and Bert 0. Cutler as the first 
appointed trustees of whom there is a record. 

In 1866 the present building, a large impressive stone 
structure with a tower and spire extending 128 feet in the air, 
was erected through the combined efforts and labors of the 
men, working as carpenters and laborers, and the loyal pio- 
neer women, who gave many a tea, supper, and entertainment 
in order to furnish the kitchen, buy the carpet, cushion the 
seats, and purchase a large pipe organ. 


In 1907, in company with Bishop Simpson, Rev. Stough- 
ton of Aurora, who was the first station preacher in Plainfield 
in 1848, dedicated a beautiful chime of ten bells, presented by 
James W. Beggs and John D. Shreffler. During the pastorate 
of Rev. G. F. Courrier (1920), the old organ was replaced by 
the present one, and the Social Center was built, a large struc- 
ture devoted to community enterprises, now leased to an out- 
side concern. 

Great things have been accomplished for the Lord dur- 
ing these many years by the early Methodist pioneer preach- 
ers and those that followed. The membership has grown from 
the handful in that first class to over 350. New parsonages 
have replaced the old as they were needed. Beautiful and in- 
spiring services to commemorate anniversaries and to honor 
faithful workers have been milestones along the way. Our 
hope is ever to maintain the high ideals built into our beauti- 
ful church by these sturdy and God-fearing pioneer founders. 


The first Methodist Church of Chicago was the first Pro- 
testant denomination to be organized in this new and rapidly 
growing town. The institution began with small numbers and 
primitive equipment when the great city was but a cluster of 
log huts set in the swamp around a wilderness Fort. The 
Church kept pace with the growth of the community and met 
its needs as they arose. Its buildings, in order to be adequate, 
took on the aspect of the settlement as it grew from village to 
city and from city to great metropolis. But always the build- 
ing was secondary ; always the community has been conscious 
of the spiritual force of the Church, from the day it was 
housed in Father See's log cabin at "The Point" to the present 
when the spire of the world's tallest cathedral holds the rad- 
iant cross high over the dark city. 

Growing as the church did with the town and its people, 
its history is closely bound up with that of the community. 
Many of the famous buildings, had they the power of speech, 
could tell thrilling tales of the Church and its people. One of 
these was Fort Dearborn. It stood near the mouth of the 
Chicago River on the south bank, at what is now the inter- 
section of Wacker Drive and Michigan Boulevard. The fort 
has long since disappeared and its site is now occupied by the 
imposing London Guarantee and Accident Building . On the 
corner of this building, placed at eye level for all to see, is a 


bronze plate bearing a likeness of the fort and the legend: 
"Here stood Fort Dearborn." Beside this plate there might 
well be placed another, reading: "Here were held the first of- 
ficial Methodist meetings in Chicago." But there would be no 
picture for at that time Chicago Methodism was like the Son 
of Man, with no place to lay her head. 

Jesse Walker visited Chicago in 1825. There is no record 
that he preached here on that occasion but it is a safe infer- 
ence that he did for he went everywhere, preaching the Gos- 
pel wherever he found a listening ear. Isaac Scarritt, when he 
sought to preach to the soldiers of the garrison in the summer 
of 1829, found scant welcome at the fort. But this situation 
changed after the arrival of Dr. Elijah Dewey Harmon as sur- 
geon to Ft. Dearborn, for with him came his Methodist wife, 
Caroline, from Vermont. On a Monday evening, June 15, 1831, 
we find about thirty people gathered in the home of Dr. and 
Mrs. Harmon within the walls of the fort. They had come to 
hear the gospel preached by Stephen R. Beggs, assisted by 
Jesse Walker. Out of this meeting grew the organization of 
the First Methodist Church. A second service was held the next 
morning in Father See's log house and eight of those present 
asked for membership in this first Chicago "Class"'. Stephen 
R. Beggs committed these "eight precious souls" to the care of 
Jesse Walker who was in charge of the Chicago Mission. Wil- 
liam See was appointed Class leader. He had, for some time, 
been a local preacher in the Methodist Church. In 1830 he 
moved to Chicago from Palmyra Missouri and brought with 
him his zeal for the Kingdom. He built a log house at "The 
Point*' and preached there every two weeks. It may be said of 
him that he was a voice in the wilderness because, unschooled 
and unordained, he prepared the way for organized Methodism. 
He served as host to Jesse Walker on many occasions when he 
preached in Chicago before making his home in the town. The 
log house, which he built largely with his own hands, became 
the first regular meeting place of the Chicago class. 

The gallant band of eight gained five staunch new mem- 
bers during the first few weeks with the arrival in Chicago on 
August 4th of Mark Noble, his wife, two daughters and a son, 
who all joined the Class. Father Noble, as he came to be known, 
had long been a class leader in the Methodist congregation at 
his former home. The Chicago group were not slow to recog- 
nize his superior gifts in this field and soon he was the leader 
of the Class in more ways than one. In connection with Father 
Noble's leadership we find the First Methodist Church of Chi- 
cago identified with another famous land-mark, namely, the 
old Kinzie House. It stood on the North bank of the river, just 
opposite the Fort and has the distinction of being the first pri- 


vate dwelling in Chicago. Into this house moved Mark Noble 
and his family in August, 1831. Here were held informal meet- 
ings of the class and here on December 31, 1831, Father Noble 
conducted the first Watch Night service in Chicago. 

It should be remembered that membership in the Class 
meant membership in the Church. The class meeting was the 
nucleus of the Church. As membership grew they multiplied 
the classes. Wesley's idea was not more than twelve in one 
class. Thus the class leader became sort of an assistant to the 
Pastor, visiting the members at least once a month was one 
of his essential duties. Then he could furnish the Pastor a good 
deal of private personal information which was a guide to him 
in his pastoral work. No doubt John Wesley was divinely in- 
spired when he instituted the Class Meeting, and in the Class 
Meeting we find the secret of Methodism's phenomenal growth 
and of its spiritual power in its early history. 

There were interruptions to the growth of the Class, such 
as removals, cholera and the Black Hawk war, but the organi- 
zation held its own. Meetings were conducted in the log house 
which was now owned and occupied by Jesse Walker. With an 
increase of business there was a wave of migration which 
brought many Methodists to Chicago. By the spring of 1834 
the congregation had outgrown the See-Walker log house and 
a frame church was erected at the corner of North Water and 
Clark streets, north of the river. This location was chosen be- 
cause more dwellings were springing up in that region. During 
the very rapid influx of the next few years the center of popu- 
lation shifted again and the Church was placed on scows, 
towed across the river and established on the site of the pre- 
sent edifice at the corner of Clark and Washington streets. 

Great work was done in this building and the congregation 
grew so extensively that additions were made at various 
times. Then dire catastrophe threatened the Methodist Society. 
The wave of speculation which followed the building of the 
Michigan Canal brought on the panic of 1837. Many of the 
members were impoverished, some lost their faith and others 
turned to dishonest pursuits. Into this difficult situation came 
an eloquent young preacher, Peter R. Borein, who was sent to 
serve the First Methodist Church in 1837. He gathered the 
discouraged flock around him and inspired them with new 
zeal. With the fiery enthusiasm of a Hebrew prophet he bat- 
tled for the Lord and waged a great war on sin. During the 
winter of 1838 many people were converted and eighty-two 
joined the church. It was during the summer of 1838 that the 
building was enlarged to twice its size. During the winter of 
1839 Peter Borein accomplished a great revival which contin- 
ued from December to April and rocked the entire city. Night 


after night he preached. Day after day he followed the people 
to their homes, shops and even into the dens of vice. Every 
night the church was filled. Religion was the absorbing theme 
which displaced all other major issues. There were more than 
three hundred conversions and this number represented one- 
tenth of the city's population. 

Exhausted from such strenuous activity, Peter Borein 
contracted typhoid fever during the summer. While he lay ill 
the entire city waited anxiously for reports on his condition 
which were issued hourly. He died on August 15, 1839. On the 
day of the funeral all stores were closed and the whole city 

In the fall of 1840 Hooper Crews was sent as pastor to the 
First Methodist Church, now known as Clark St. He was an 
able and inspired man who knew how to build upon the work 
of Borein and perpetuate the fruits of the great revival. From 
this time on Chicago Methodism showed a decided upward 

In 1845, during the pastorate of the individualistic and 
picturesque Rev. W. M. S. Ryan, the much-remodeled and en- 
larged frame church was torn down and replaced by a brick 
building with an auditorium which seated 1000. The Methodists 
were justly proud of their new home with its spire rising 148 
feet from the ground. The congregation continued to grew un- 
der the guidance of Philo Judson, John Clark and others, and 
with this growth came great enthusiasm for the expansion of 
the work of the Methodist Church in all parts of the City. 

In 1857, by act of the legislature of the State of Illinois, 
the Clark St. congregation was formally named "The First 
Methodist Episcopal Church of Chicago" and was given per- 
mission to erect a building to be used partially for religious 
and partially for commercial purposes. In 1858 such a building 
was erected at a cost of $70,000. The trustees and members 
might have decided to take their ease and let the expenses of 
the church be paid out of the income from the building, but 
such was the missionary spirit of the day that just the opposite 
happened. From the beginning only a part of the income was 
used for the local Church, and in 1865 the trustees voluntarily 
amended the charter so that all the net income from the build- 
ing, except $1,000 and a sum to cover parsonage rent, could 
be devoted to the building of churches throughout the growing 
city. This structure stood until October, 1871; it was swept 
away by the great fire. 

Their loss was great, but, undaunted the faithful Methodists 
caused a new and finer building to rise out of the ashes. A tem- 
porary structure was erected at the corner of Clark and Har- 
rison Sts., so that the congregation might have a place to wor- 


ship while the workmen toiled carefully to erect a worthy edi- 
fice at the regular site. The new building was a four-story 
structure. The first and second floors were devoted to com- 
mercial purposes while the two upper stories were used for the 
various activities of the Church. During the life time of these 
two income producing structures the First Methodist Church 
of Chicago poured out into other new societies practically One 
Million Dollars for the erection of new church buildings. It is 
quite correct to say that every Church, within the bounds of 
Chicago built prior to the wrecking of the second income pro- 
ducing building and the erection of the present Chicago Tem- 
ple, was helped by First Church. 

While the Church, as an organization, was doing great 
things for the Kingdom and the physical as well as moral and 
spiritual well-being of the City, her laymen, as individuals, 
were far from idle. Great projects were launched by the sons 
and daughters of Old Clark St. 

One of these was the founding of Northwestern Univer- 
sity. A group of Chicago laymen, including Orrington Lunt, 
Grant Goodrich, H. W. Clark, John Evans, J. K. Botsford and 
A. J. Brown, conceived the idea of founding a university to 
serve the great Northwest. A charter for the new institution 
was obtained in 185 i and on June 15 of that year the following 
local trustees were elected: A. S. Sherman, Grant Goodrich, 
J. K. Botsford, John Evans, Orrington Lunt, A. J. Brown, 
George F. Foster, J. M. Arnold, E. B. Kingsley, James Kettle- 
strings, Nathan Smith Davis and A. Funk. After due delibera- 
tion a site on the lake shore was purchased and the university 
as well as the City of Evanston began to be. 

Dr. Nathan Smith Davis, first a member of Clark St. and 
later of one or another of the daughter churches, was the 
guiding spirit in the founding of two other great institutions. 
He is known throughout the world as the Father of the Ameri- 
can Medical Association and in 1864, he, with several other 
men of great vision, founded the Chicago Medical College, 
which is now the medical school of Northwestern University. 
This institution has sent out thousands of young men trained 
to heal the diseases and prolong the life of mankind. Dr. Davis 
was also a vigorous crusader for the cause of temperance. 

Another great undertaking of this period was the found- 
ing of Garrett Biblical Institute located likewise on the lake 
shore in Evanston. It was organized in 1854. Mrs. Eliza Garrett, 
whose name the school bears, was a daughter of old Clark St. 
and one of her pastors, the zealous young Peter Borein, plant- 
ed in Mrs. Garrett's mind the idea of founding an institution of 
learning for the training of ministers of the gospel. But the 
time was not ripe in Borein's day. He was cut off in his prime 


and Mrs. Garrett sustained great personal losses in the death 
of her husband and children. All that remained to her in 1848 
was the wealth accumulated by her husband. Aided by the ad- 
vice and encouragement of Grant Goodrich, the family lawyer, 
two of her pastors, John Clark and Hooper Crews and Dr. Kid- 
der she invested her inheritance in the training of youth for 
Christian service and Garrett Biblical Institute opened its 
doors under the presidency of Dr. John Dempster, founder of 
the Biblical Institute in Middletown, Conn. 

These were only a few of the great enterprises launched 
by Methodist laymen of Chicago. There was Henry White- 
head, the laymen-preacher who, with his own mind and hands 
planned and partly erected the first frame Church home of old 
Clark St. After serving several congregations in the confer- 
ence he opened a book depository in Chicago where clergy and 
laymen alike could secure religious literature. That was the be- 
ginning of our Methodist Book Concern. 

It is worthy of record here that while all Protestant de- 
nominations had their churches on Washington St. and moved 
out to the suburbs, old First Church remained and the credit 
for that is due Arthur Dixon who stood adamant as a rock 
against selling this old First Church corner. His name stands 
indelibly identified with the life and work of this old historic 
church, and his sons have followed in their Father's foot steps. 

And what of the First Methodist Church today? The Tem- 
ple, our fifth church home, needs no description because it is 
known the wide world round as the world's tallest Cathedral. 
Today, as in earlier years, she has an inspired Pastor, The Rev. 
John Thompson and devoted and faithful members. The 
Temple was Dr. Thompson's vision and dream. He 
invested a large portion of his life and strenuous years attain- 
ing the actualization of this dream, and the majority of the 
men who worked with him in those days have passed on to 
the home of the Blest the Palace of God. There are two Ser- 
vices of Worship every Sunday with large congregations. A 
Sunday School convenes every Sunday following the morning 
Service, and on Wednesday nights a well attended Mid-week 
Prayer Service is held. The week day activities of the Church 
are numerous and well maintained by various organizations. 
The line of influence from this old Church through the cen- 
tury and more of its existence have gone out to the ends of the 
earth. She continues to have grave problems and great re- 
sponsibilities. In the present chaotic world she is more than 
ever eager and determined to serve the city as she has 
done for more than a century. At the crowded crossroads 
of life she stands shedding her light upon millions. Em- 
pires may fall and nations be rent asunder but the lighted cross 


will still shine over the dark city and the chimes from the 
tower will tell the world that God still reigns. 

Miss Nora L. Skibbe, Historian 
First Methodist Church, Chicago 



The first public religious service of which we have record 
was conducted by a Methodist circuit rider, the Rev. Mr. White 
in 1836, at the home of Samuel Sloan just south of the county 
line road in section three, where a few neighbors gathered in 
a log cabin. Among those present were Mrs. Jerusha Smith, 
an ardent Methodist, who immediately organized the children 
of the neighborhood into a Sunday school, meeting at her home. 
Mrs. Smith was the grandmother of the late A. H. Smith. 

The Rev. Mr. White was followed by Rev. Batchelor, whose 
circuit included, Aurora, Rockford, Joliet and all surrounding 
territory. His salary was forty-five dollars per year. 

In 1836 the noted pioneer-preacher, Rev. Stephen R. Beggs, 
came to this circuit and organized at Thorn Grove the first 
class for religious teaching in the east end of Will county. 
There were fifteen members of this class. In 1841 it was trans- 
ferred to the village of Crete, where they met in the school- 
house in winter and often in the open air in warm weather. 
This continued for ten years, until 1851, when a lot was ob- 
tained from Willard Wood and in 1852 a building was erected 
at a cost of $1500. Much of the work, such as hauling stone> 
lumber, etc., was done by the farmers, while others helped in 
the mason and carpenter work. The trustees at this time were 
Charles Morris, Henry Ayers, John McCoy, Samuel Hood and 
George C. Gridley. Besides these, among the names of those 
active in the early life of the church are found the following: 
John W. Cole, Jacob Bowder, Almon Wilder, John E. Hewes, 
Lorenzo McCoy, John Pease, Ulysses Myrick, 0. Pickens, Dr. 
Minard, and C. I. Read. Until the church at Chicago Heights, 
which is an offspring of the Crete Church, was organized, in 
1892, this was the only Methodist church in the vicinity and 
people of that belief came from a radius of many miles to 
attend service here, driving with ox teams in the early days. 

Among the many pastors of the church was the Rev. 
Samuel Hewes, familiarly known as "Uncle Samuel," who 
served the church in 1859 and later after retiring from the 
ministry made Crete his home until called to his Heavenly 



Home in 1900. His son-in-law, the Rev. Joseph Caldwell, an- 
other pastor, also resided here until his death. The Rev. A. W. 
Patten, for many years connected with Northwestern Univer- 
sity, was pastor here in 1872. 

The church has never been rebuilt but from time to time 
was repaired and redecorated. It was modernized in 1920 and 
a basement added to it. At that time the Sunday School had 
120 members. The church membership was 90. Among the 
interesting papers in the archives of the church is the original 
subscription list that made possible the building of the church. 

Another historical feature of the church was the organ- 
ization on Oct. 15, 1848, in Thorn Creek Precinct, of a "Bible- 
sosiaty." This Society was called the Thorn Creek Precinct 
Bible Society, "the object of which shall be to promote the 
circulation of the Scriptures without note or comment." The 
Crete Agency was an auxiliary to the Will County Bible So- 
ciety at Joliet. 

The church is now included in the Chicago Southern Dis- 
trict of the Rock River Conference. Its present membership 
is 201. The Rev. Earle W. Locke has been pastor for the last 
two years (1939-1940). 


Few churches in northern Illinois have a longer service 
record for Christ than has the First Methodist church of Bel- 

Before Belvidere was a town, or even a village, this record 
of Christian service began. Belvidere, back in 1836, was only 


then aspiring to the rank of a wilderness settlement. Indians 
still roamed the northern Illinois prairies when Methodists of 
this area held their first meeting at Belvidere. 

Two years, in fact, before there was any formal church or- 
ganization of Belvidere Methodists they were holding their 
worship services in the homes of the several pioneers of the 
Methodist faith living in the settlement. 

At the time of these first home gatherings, in the year of 
1836, the little settlement was less than a year old, the first 
settlers having established themselves here in the middle of the 
year 1835. 

The Sycamore circuit first appeared in the appointment 
of 1835 with Stephen Arnold in charge. Arnold continued in 
1836 and 1837. The appointment is not listed in 1838 but re- 
appears in 1839 with Josiah W. Whipple in charge. 

Early in the year 1838, Methodists of the settlement felt 
the need of having both a regular minister and a church 
building of some sort. Arrangements to meet these reqirements 
were made at once, the first being met by the appointment of 
the Rev. Leander S. Walker to be Belvidere's first Methodist 
pastor. William Gaddis was assistant on the circuit. 

The second requirement was less easily accomplished. It 
was necessary to bring much of the building materials here 
overland from Chicago. Naturally it was slow work getting the 
materials hauled here by teams and difficult and costly as well. 

Samuel Longcor, father of John C. Longcor, provided the 
financial backing for the erection of the structure and despite 
the hardships and handicaps of those pioneer days the church 
was erected before the year was out and regular services were 
begun, thus marking the commencement of a church which, 
during the more than 100 years which have followed, has at- 
tained and held the leadership among Belvidere and Boone 
county churches. 

Pastors here from the Rev. Walker's ministry in 1839 to 
1850 were the Revs. N. Jewett, John Brayton, James McKean, 
R. A. Blanchard, Wesley Latin, George Levisee, W. Wilmot, 
R. Beatty, and M. Decker, among them names which figure 
largely in the history of Methodism in its first years in 
the midwest. Each was a foundation stone in the temple of 
Wesleyanism constructed out of the faith of our fathers "in 
God and country." 

Expansion Of the church's membership in the growing city 
resulted in a need for a larger church edifice. In 1850 a new 
brick building was constructed, located at the corner of North 
State and Perry streets. During its construction the Rev. 
Decker was pastor, remaining for two years more. He was sue- 


ceeded by the Rev. Thomas North, who served from 1852 to 

Ministers in charge from then until 1866 were the Rev. 
L. Anderson, S. Stover, C. S. Reading, S. F. Denning, F. A. 
Read, F. Atchison, and George J. Bliss. 

Because of the growth of the church and the young city, 
many members felt it would be desirable to have a separate 
church on the south side of the Kishwaukee river to serve those 
who lived in that area. Consequently, after much discussion 
of the matter, 29 families of the original church — on April 29, 
1866 — took their letters and formed a south side congregation. 
The original members of the new church, then called the Se- 
cond M. E. Church of Belvidere, included J. Chamberlain, W. 
Nicholson, N. Nicholson, William H. Bowley, Asebel Howard, 
Lavina Howard, Geo. D. Smith, Etta Smith, Belinda B. Hovey, 
Mrs. M. J. Boyce, Jane Danforth, Eliza Easterbrook, Marian 
S. Chamberlain, Harriett E. Chamberlain, Mary Ann Bassett, 
Sarah A. Banks, P. Barton, Robert Swail, Harriett Curtis, 
Ophelia Cornell, Eliza Albright, Henry Bennett, Samuel Pas- 
ter, and some others. 

Late in the year of 1866 the south side Methodists com- 
pleted building their church, which was located at the corner of 
Main and Church streets. During its construction the congre- 
gation was served by two student pastors, the Revs. J. B. Still 
and T. R. Trowbridge. 

Within the space of little more than a year the member- 
ship of the south side congregation had grown to 55, consider- 
ably more than double its original size. 

On completion of the new building, the Rev. Lewis An- 
derson was engaged as the first south side Methodist pastor, 
succeeded by the Rev. S. Cates for two years and then by the 
following mostly for a year each : the Revs. W. H. Wilkerson, 
R. A. Blanchard, J. A. Odgers, W. T. Shaw, N. H. Axtell, S. W. 
Harrington, and Grover Clark. There is no record of all 
the north side pastors during the division period, but it 
is known that in 1876 the Rev. Axtell served both churches and 
the same arrangement was continued under the Rev. Harring- 
ton. In 1879 when the Rev. Grover C. Clark was appointed for 
the south side, the Rev. 0. E. Burch was named for the north. 
Both churches were occupied until 1885 when they reunited, 
under the pastorate of S. H. Swartz, who had followed the Rev. 
John Reeves, successor to the Rev. Clark on the south side. 

In 1880 the church had moved from Main and Church 
streets to its present site at Whitney street and Logan avenue. 
The last pastor of the church after the reunion and before the 
present edifice was constructed was the Rev. 0. H. Cessna. It 


was during the service here of his successor, the Rev. J. C. 
Bigelow, in the year 1891, that construction was begun on the 
present church, built of brick in Venetian style. Two years 
later, in the regime of the Rev. William Craven, the building 
was finished and was dedicated on February 12, 1893. The Rev. 
Craven remained until 1896 and was followed in order by the 
Revs. Samuel Earngey, D. M. Tompkins, E. D. Hull, C. S. 
Moore, H. G. Warren, William H. Pierce, H. E. Rompel, H. F. 
Lawler, A. H. Smith, S. H. Wirsching, Harry C. Brown, William 
H. Evans, James L. Gardiner, and, in October, 1940, by 
John H. Nightingale. 

The Board of Trustees were : A. J. Yaw, W. D. Swain, W. 
M. Powers, J. C. Longcor, Richard Jarvis, John List, Thomas 
Cornwell, A. C. Fassett, J. H. Flack and D. B. Pettit. 

Cost of the present church was $17,000 and of the organ 
$2,500. All debts were paid in full at the time the church was 
dedicated. In 1928 a fine brick parsonage was built at a cost 
of $12,500. 

The church has an active enrollment of about 800 with a 
Sunday school of almost 400 attending members. First Sunday 
school superintendent was Frank Sager, father of Garrett F. 
Sager. Dr. A. W. Swift was the first Epworth league president 
and Mrs. Thomas A. Willard the first president of the Wo- 
men's Society of Christian Service. 

The church celebrated its centennial with a great series of 
services starting Sunday, Oct. 23, 1938, and concluding eight 
days later on Sunday, Oct. 30, 1938, in the pastorate of Dr. 
James L. Gardiner. Under his leadership the church had been 
reroofed and redecorated, inside and out, all the work being- 
paid for in cash after a great financial drive had succeeded in 
raising more than $2,000 for this purpose. 

The first Sunday service of the centennial celebration 
opened with an address by Albert W. Harris, chairman of the 
board of directors of the Harris Trust & Savings bank of Chi- 
cago, followed by Dr. Gardiner's sermon. Dr. R. L. Semans, 
Rockford district superintendent, spoke at a large Epworth 
League rally in the evening. The evening sermon was preached 
by Dr. Frederick F. Shannon, pastor of the Chicago Central 
church and one of the foremost ministers in Methodism. He 
is a renowed radio preacher. 

Features of special interest were presented the following 
Wednesday night at prayer meeting. G. F. Sager spoke on the 
Church history. Dr. Swift spoke on 'The Epworth League 50 
Years Ago." Mrs. George M. Marshall discussed, "Fifty Years 
a Sunday School Teacher." Mrs. George Mau sang and S. Her- 
man Wright led in a special song service. 


The next night the church dining room was the scene of a 
banquet, limited to 250 persons. Rev. Harry Brown, former 
pastor, spoke. 

The second and closing Sunday of the centennial — Oct. 
30, 1938 — saw anniversary programs featuring all departments 
of the church. Charles S. Watson of Oak Park, one of the 
leading Methodist laymen of northern Illinois, spoke before the 
Sunday school. Dr. Herbert Rhodes, pastor of the Austin 
Methodist church of Chicago, preached the morning sermon. 

In the evening the auditorium of the church was packed 
to hear a brilliant sermon by the Rev. William H. Evans, for- 
mer pastor, at the time pastor of Ingleside church, Chicago. 

The following year — in October, 1939 — the church took 
the lead among Belvidere churches in sponsoring a highly 
successful religious census of the city. 

At about the same time, under the vigorous leadership of 
the pastor, Dr. James L. Gardiner — who retired from the min- 
istry Oct. 6, 1940, after completing 45 years of service in the 
Methodist pulpit — saloons and taverns throughout all of Boone 
county were forced to close their doors on Sunday. 

Methodists of Belvidere realize the great need for Christ- 
ianity in the world of today and are constantly striving toward 
the goal of spreading the Master's message to all within their 
reach, while giving themselves to His service in buildng a 
better church and community. 

Committee on Publication: Dr. A. W. Swift, Mrs. G. F. 
Sager, Donald Tripp, Thomas Willard, C. T. McClenagan, G. F. 


The first permanent resident in the vicinity of Mount 
Morris was a Mr. John Phelps, who took up a claim of land 
in Ogle County in 1833 and who built a cabin two miles east 
of Mount Morris in 1834, to which he moved with his family 
in 1835. The next summer Mr. Samuel Hitt and Captain 
Nathaniel Swingley came west from Washington County, 
Maryland on an exploration trip. They came to the Phelps 
cabin and went on to explore the high prairie land to the west 
which included the site of Mount Morris, and on it they staked 
out several claims, returning east in the fall. In the spring of 
1837 they organized a party of several families to make a per- 
manent settlement in the new country. During the summer 
cabins were built for these families. In September Mr. 
Thomas Hitt, a brother to Samuel, moved west with his family. 


He was a local preacher of the Methodist Church, and immed- 
iately upon arriving at the "Maryland Colony" he began to 
hold religious services and he organized a Methodist "So- 
ciety." Thus the Methodist Church in Mount Morris was or- 
ganized in the fall of 1837. 

Two Methodist circuit riders, members of the Illinois 
Conference, were already at work in this section of the state, 
Reverend James McKean, and Reverend Barton Cartwright. 
These men included the "Maryland Colony" among their 
preaching points, and assisted Thomas Hitt in the development 
of the Society. As yet there was not so much as a cabin 
within the present boundaries of Mount Morris. 

In the fall of 1838 Thomas Hitt rode horseback to Jack- 
sonville, 111., to attend the Illinois Conference session, hoping 
to persuade the Conference to take over and operate the Pine 
Creek Grammar School which was in the Colony. The out- 
come was that the Illinois Conference chose Mount Morris as 
the location for a Seminary which it planned to establish. 

The leaders of the Colony met enthusiastically to plot a 
town about the site of the Seminary. They named the new 
town, Mount Morris for Bishop Thomas Morris of the Metho- 
dist Church. They named streets for John Wesley, Bishop 
McKendree and other Methodist leaders. The school was 
named the Rock River Seminary. The first house built in the 
town was to accommodate the workmen who were to erect 
the Seminary building. As recounted elsewhere in this volume 
the Rock River Conference was organized in Mount Morris on 
August 26, 1840. Thus the town was predominantly Metho- 
dist in its origin and early growth. 

The Mount Morris Methodists worshipped in the chapel of 
the Seminary until 1877 when they built the sanctuary part 
of the present church building, under the pastorate of Rev- 
erend E. W. Adams. In 1923 Reverend John Dickson led the 
people in the building of large educational and social rooms 
for the Church. The pastor of the Mount Morris Church who 
gained the greatest distinction was Reverend John H. Vincent, 
who became a leader in Sunday school organization and later 
Bishop of the Church. The Rock River Conference celebrated 
the Centennial of its organization in Mount Morris on October 
4, 1940. 


The Oregon Methodist Church, founded December 13, 
1839, is located in Oregon, 111., a thriving city of 3000 pop- 
ulation and the County Seat of Ogle County. The city is wide- 


ly known as a scenic community, being located on the Rock 
River, and it is annually visited by hundreds of guests and 

On December 9 and 10, 1939, the church held its centen- 
nial celebration on which memorable occasion its long, varied 
history was recalled in detail, and interesting it was indeed to 
read and hear of the struggles and sacrifices of the pioneer 
fathers who made the present church part of our heritage. It 
is with pleasure and pride that this church presents the fol- 
lowing highlights as its contribution to the centennial volume 
of the Rock River Conference. 

The first Methodist Church in Oregon consisted of a class 
of nine women and two men. For many years there was no 
regular pastor and the appointments were filled by itinerants. 
In 1845 the Rock River Conference sent the Rev. James Mc- 
Kean to the Buffalo Grove Circuit of the Galena District. His 
residence was near Polo, but he roamed from the east beyond 
Rochelle to the Mississippi River on the west, and from the 
Kishwaukee River on the north to Prophetstown on the south. 
Although he preached several times on Sunday and every day 
of the week, it took him four weeks to make the circuit. Later 
the same circuit was traveled by Barton H. Cartwright and 
C. G. Worthington. In these days local preachers were active 
and Thomas S. Hitt, Alexander Irvine, and Erastus Wads- 
worth are among those remembered. 

In 1852 Oregon was named as a charge in the Rock River 
Conference but meetings were held in private homes, the 
schoolhouse, and later in the courthouse. However, in 1857- 
58 a brick church was erected on a lot at Jefferson and Third 
streets, and was dedicated in 1858 during the pastorate of 
Henry L. Martin. This building cost $3000. The next build- 
ing project was the first parsonage erected in 1868 on south 
Fourth Street at a cost of $2800. Rev. A. P. Hatch was min- 
ister at this time. 

When Rev. G. R. Van Horn came as pastor in 1865 he 
found the church building in a deplorable condition. From his 
vivid account of his pastorate is quoted a portion of his de- 
scription: T found the old brick church in a dilapidated con- 
dition. The front steps were rotten and unsafe. The stone 
foundation was full of holes giving free ingress to dogs and 
polecats. The chimney was partly blown down, and the en- 
tire building was by no means inviting." Young, energetic, 
and full of grit, young Van Horn went to work and made what 
repairs he could, doing much of the work himself. Under his 
leadership the membership was doubled, and when he left for 
Minooka in 1867, funds for a new parsonage had been pledged. 


The generous gift of Erastus Wadsworth, a local preacher at 
Lighthouse which greatly helped make the project possible, 
is still gratefully remembered. 

The church carried on for the next few years, and in 1874- 
'75, under the guidance of Rev. Carr, the present imposing 
and sturdy church structure was erected, at a cost of $15,000, 
on a new location at South Fourth street. In 1898 at services 
held in re-dedication of the church which had been remodeled, 
Col. B. F. Sheets, who for many years was a leader in the 
church, spoke touchingly about the heroic sacrifices which had 
made the edifice possible. "Men, women, and children vied 
with each other in self-sacrifice and liberality. Many men and 
women who are here today went without things for their own 
comfort to help build this church and pay the debt." Mrs. 
James A. Barden, at present the oldest living member of the 
church, also has recounted interesting anecdotes relating to 
the church. Mrs. Barden recalls many of the members of the 
Official Board and that in the cornerstone was placed a paper 
with the following names inscribed: Judge F. G. Petrie, Col. B. 
F. Sheets, Major Albert Woodcock, Capt. A. L. Ettinger, E. P. 
Piersol, Thomas Rutledge, Erastus Wadsworth, Edward 
Hinkle, J. J. Clover and James A. Barden. 

One other major improvement in the church property was 
made in 1922-'23. Nearly $7,000 was collected in those years 
to pay for a pipe organ. The Oregon Church has always been 
fortunate in having fine organists and choir directors, and the 
church has had more than a local reputation for its special 
musical programs and the high musical standards maintained 
in the church services. 

On December 9 and 10, 1939, the church celebrated its 
100th anniversary when Rev. George Draper was pastor. The 
anniversary banquet and special services were attended by 
large crowds and many former members, friends, and pastors 
returned for the great event. A special membership drive had 
been conducted in the preceding months and at the morning 
anniversary services thirty-three joined the church and eight 
were baptized. In the afternoon session a resolution was 
adopted to change the corporation name of the church to 
Methodist Church of Oregon, thus becoming one of the first 
groups in the conference to officially adopt the name of the 
new united church. During the day special tribute was paid 
to Mrs. Sarah Barden, oldest living member of the church, and 
Mrs. Daisy Harshman, who had been a member of the Oregon 
church for fifty years. 

In the fall of 1940 Rev. Paul Turk was assigned to the 
Oregon church to succeed Rev. Draper, who had faithfully 


served the church for five years. It is hoped that under the 
leadership of Rev. Turk, one of the youngest ministers in the 
conference, the church will continue to go forward. 

For one century the Oregon Methodist Church has been 
carrying aloft the banner of Christ. Overcoming great ob- 
stacles and enduring hardships, the original congregation of 
eleven has now grown to one numbering three hundred. One 
cannot begin to estimate the number of lives that have been 
influenced by the church during these hundred years, but 
surely it has been one of the vital factors in making Oregon the 
fine, friendly, sturdy community it is. Without their church 
the Methodist citizens of Oregon would not say as they now 
do, "I would rather live here than in any other town I know." 

May the church in the next century of its history arways 
be a refuge and strength, a very present help in the time of 
trouble. May the sorrows of its people be lighter and their 
joys richer because they have Christian fellowship one with 
another. May the church always be a beacon light in the 
community because in it is preached the gospel of Christ and 
because its members reflect that light in their lives, others will 
be drawn into the light. 


Methodism in Geneva dates back to 1837, only four years 
after the first settler arrived, w T hen the Reverend Hiram G. 
Warner, a local preacher from New England came to Geneva 
and held the first religious service in the old Court House. 
Through his instrumentality in the spring of 1838 there was 
organized the first Methodist Class, consisting of three per- 
sons, Allison Abbott, Julius Alexander, and Marietta Warner 
This little class was added to the St. Charles Circuit, which 
then embraced Aurora, Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles. A 
church building, 30 x 40 ft. in size was erected in 1850. With- 
in tw r o years the membership of the church had increased to 
seventy-nine members and nine probationers, and the circuit 
w r as reduced to two points, Geneva and St. Charles. 

In the early seventies under the leadership of Rev. R. S. 
Cantine, the present beautiful church building was erected. 
Adverse circumstances however, soon brought to the church 
days of darkness and trial, and the building was sold in 1877 
by the Sheriff of the County at public auction to satisfy the 
creditors of the church. Through the effective efforts of Mrs. 
Jennie H. Caldwell, who was appointed Financial Agent, almost 
the entire sum necessary to meet the indebtedness of the 


church and to regain possession of the church building was 
raised in less than two years. The beautiful stained glass 
windows of this church are noteworthy tributes to the mem- 
ory of twelve of its early members. 

From time to time material improvements were made on 
the church property. In 1893 a project to complete the church 
tower and install a bell was carried out and entirely paid for 
without any indebtedness. The present parsonage was built in 
1906, during the pastorate of Rev. D. F. Bent. A new and im- 
proved heating plant was installed in the church during the 
pastorate of Rev. H. A. Snyder. One stairway, was also removed 
and two much needed Sunday School rooms were added. Dur- 
ing the pastorate of Rev. T. E. Ream a beautiful pipe organ 
was installed in the church, and was dedicated as a memorial 
to John Rogers and Mary, his wife, who were prominent pio- 
neer members of the church and the largest contributors to 
the organ fund. During the pastorate of Rev. M. C. Galloway 
the church was redecorated inside and out, new pews installed, 
the grounds improved and beautified, and many other im- 
provements made. 

During its history this church has been a power for right- 
eousness in the lives of its members and in the community. 
Today the church is in excellent condition with an efficient 
and well attended Church School, an active men's group and a 
newly organized women's society for Christian service, which 
takes the place of several former organizations of the women. 

As the church enters the second century of its history, the 
members face the future with a firm confidence that the gos- 
pel of Jesus Christ is still the salvation of the world. 



The community of Dundee observed its Centennial Celebra- 
tion in the year 1935. As part of this occasion, the First Metho- 
dist church entered a float in the "Centennial Parade" depict- 
ing a Circuit Rider, carrying a banner: "Methodism of 1835". 
This was followed directly by a group of people, in an automo- 
bile, waving flags with these words:" Methodism of 1935". 
This little event, in a beautiful community 40 miles west of 
Chicago, indicated that Methodism had passed the hundred 
year mark, and now is over 105 years old. 

The first organization was effected as a "Methodist Class" 
of Dundee, part of the Fox River Mission, by the Reverend 



William Royal. The local organization was but one of thirty- 
three, served by the above-mentioned minister and the Rever- 
end Samuel Pillsbury. One service was held in each preaching 
point each four weeks. 

The Dundee class grew and increased in membership and 
in 1837 the Reverend W. Wilcox was appointed pastor. In the 
year 1844, Dundee became a church by itself, with the ap- 
pointment of the Reverend Nathan Jewett, as resident pastor. 
Services were conducted in private homes at first, and in the 
Sons of Temperance Hall in East Dundee. In the year 1859, 
quite a commodious church was built, on the plot of land now 
occupied by the Lutheran School, in East Dundee, and ser- 
vices were held there until the year 1876. 

This marked a turning point in the history of Dundee 
Methodism, for the old church was sold, and a new building 
was erected in West Dundee. Services were held in this church, 
until the year 1922. At which time the American Legion pur- 
chased the building, and the Methodists secured the church 
edifice occupied by the Baptists, and made this their new 
church home. 

During the time of this purchase, a large addition was made 
to the original building. This consisted of a basement dining 
room, kitchen, gymnasium, and church parlor. This struc- 


ture serves as the place of worship for the present Methodist 

It has been estimated that approximately 2000 people have 
united with the church over the period of years. The greatest 
share of these, on leaving Dundee, have taken their church 
certificates of transfer with them, and united with churches 
in cities near by and far away. The present membership in- 
cludes some 150 people, who are giving their services to the 

The worth of an institution, however, cannot be judged 
entirely by the numbers it has on its membership roll, but by 
the influence it has with the people it touches. In this regard, 
the Methodist church of Dundee has contributed its share to 
the welfare of the Methodist church universal. 


In the early days, before the coming of the railroads, a 
settlement called Buffalo Grove was located on the old Galena 
trail about a mile west and slightly south of the present center 
of our city of Polo. Today, Buffalo Grove is a hamlet of his- 
torically intriguing and vestigial aspect, but at that time it 
was the nucleus of an expansive farm community rendered 
secure and peaceful through the ending of the Black Hawk 
War. During the war we find it occasionally referred to as a 
"fort", but that can only have been because of its more num- 
erous population and its strong sons. The Rock River Normal 
School was located there and under the principalship of Mr. 
J. W. Frisbee, an educated young man of talent and a class 
leader in the Methodist church. In the winter of 1856-57 
there came as successor to J. W. Frisbee, who had died the 
year before, an alert young teacher, John Burroughs, who was 
to become famous as a writer. Buffalo Grove was thus a cen- 
ter of some importance in that early, but now completely 
effaced, configuration of pioneer civilization that was bounded 
on the south and east by the Rock River and on the west by 
the Mississippi. 

The "Buffalo Grove Mission," which embraced this en- 
tire area, came into being after the Illinois Conference session 
of 1834. The Mission began its work at Apple River, but was 
soon handicapped by the death of the young preacher appoint- 
ed to it. In 1835, with Rev. James McKean as pastor, an ap- 
pointment was established at Buffalo Grove, and services were 
held in the dining room of Kellogg's tavern. On March 13th, 
1836, seven persons united to form the Methodist Episcopal 


church there. A Sunday School was started the same day. 
The impetus seems to have been the encouraging presence of 
two new families which had arrived only six days before. 
Were the romance of these early Christian pioneer families but 
better known, it would inspire and edify Christians today. An 
old record book of the "Buffalo Circuit", carefully preserved 
for many years by Harriet Frisbee More, wife of Rev. Dr. 
James H. More, and Mary Furry Talbott is one of the cherished 
possessions of the Polo church. The record begins with 
Nov. 25, 1843 . At that time the Buffalo class reported 26 
members; the roll of the whole circuit totalled 116. On the 
circuit we find Gap Grove, Buffalo, Union School House, Elk- 
horn and Sterling. In succeeding years we find Milledgeville, 
South Elkhorn, Eagle Point, Black Oak Grove, West Elkhorn, 
North Elkhorn and Brookville. The record encloses a num- 
ber of clippings and other printed mementoes, in one of which 
we read that at the time of the organization of the Rock River 
Conference on the Hitt farm, Bishop Waugh was entertained 
in the tent of Geo. D. H. Wilcoxon from Buffalo Grove. 

In 1844 a parsonage was purchased, and in 1849 a church 
edifice was begun, the lumber having been brought from Chi- 
cago, 110 miles away. With the coming of the Illinois Central 
R. R. in 1855, a new center for community business activities 
was established about a mile distant. Many houses were 
moved to the new settlement, which took the name of Polo. 
Buffalo Grove was thereafter distinguished as "Old Town." 
After 1857, afternoon services were held in Polo, and a par- 
sonage was purchased there. In 1860 the first of two Church 
buildings on the present site was begun and by 1862 was com- 
pleted. The pastor moved into a parsonage adjoining the new 
building. In the years 1898 to 1901 the present Church build- 
ing and parsonage replaced the older buildings. To the sor- 
row of many the little church in Old Town was sold and razed 
several years ago. 

At intervals the membership of Polo charge was greatly 
enlarged by remarkable revivals. Through the dissolution of 
other churches other generous accessions came to the church. 
The church has had in times past not only a large number of 
faithful members, but also a number of unusually capable lay 
leaders. The continuity of Polo charge, with its frequent 
change of pastors, can hardly be understood on other grounds. 
Through 105 years more than 50 ministers have served the 
church. Of these a number went on to positions of promin- 
ence. More than a dozen young people have entered definite 
fields of Christian service. Pastors, missionaries, teachers, 
deaconesses and social service workers are to be found among 


them. They were the natural fruit which a sturdy and vital 
home piety bore. Today more than 230 homes look to Polo 
charge for spiritual direction, and of these more than 80 are in 
the country. It is pleasing to know that the descendants of a 
number of the old families are still active in the Church. The 
changing character of the population and the community life 
have also left their mark upon the church, but the fathers are 
gratefully and thoughtfully remembered. We would indeed 
"praise excellent men" but only in the trust that He, who in- 
spired and kept them, will today save His people. 

"It is indeed a desirable thing to be well descended, but 
the glory belongs to our ancestors." (Plutarch). 


Ottawa Street Church dates back to the days of the pio- 
neer and the itinerant Methodist preacher, who, wherever he 
found a settler's cabin or a little group of people, was glad to 
establish a preaching place. 

After the Black Hawk War, with the opening of immigra- 
tion, the valley of the Des Plaines became a center of activity. 
The little village of Juliet, as it was then called, had only a 
few stray cabins but it was on the highway along which the 
new settlers were coming from Fort Dearborn (Chicago) 
to the heart of Central Illinois. 

George West, a Methodist Local Preacher, settled here and 
in the summer of 1833 held regular preaching services, opened 
a Sunday school and together with the few Methodists here- 
abouts constituted the first class which was the beginning of 
the Methodist Church, the first church in this city. Miss Per- 
sis Cleveland, our first school teacher, was an earnest christian 
and a Methodist and in the spring of 1835 was elected First 
Superintendent of a formally organized Sunday School. That 
same summer there came from Ohio a young man who had been 
converted through the instrumentality of an old slave, and who 
had ridden all the way on horseback. He immediately identi- 
fied himself with the infant church and for the next half cen- 
tury Otis Hardy became a prominent figure not only in the 
history of the Church but also of the community. 

Another event that same year of large importance to the 
little group of Christians was the recognition of the church by 
the Illinois Conference and the assignment of Stephen R. Beggs 
and Matthew Turner to the newly constituted circuit of Juliet. 
The people immediately began to plan for the building of a 


House of Worship and on the 28th day of February, 1837, Levi 
Jenks, George West, Albert Sheperd, Aaron Moore, Justice 
Finch, Jr., Charles Sayre and Otis Hardy were elected "Trus- 
tees of the Methodist Episcopal Church of the village of 

The first Methodist church, which was also the first 
church building in the city, was built of black walnut, the best 
available lumber at that time, and was seated with rough 
boards and had a carpenter's bench for a pulpit. It was begun 
in 1837 and completed in 1838. The size of the building was 
thirty-five by forty-six feet, with sixteen foot posts. It cost 
$2,500.00. It contained but one room and was a plain building. 
Its location was near the southwest corner of Ottawa and 
Washington streets. 

Our second church was built of brick and at the time was 
one of the most imposing structures in the city. It was dedica- 
ted Thursday, May 12, 1853 during the pastorate of the Rev- 
erand M. L. Reed. The dedicatory services were conducted by 
the Reverend John Clark and the Reverend James E. Wilson 
of Chicago. The auditorium of the new church was very high 
and in 1857 a basement was put in. In 1855 it was enlarged by 
building on to it. A Parsonage was also built on the rear of the 
lot, facing Clinton street. The cost of the church and parson- 
age was $10,000.00. It was to this church that John H. Vincent 
came as pastor in the spring of 1857. 

The twenty-ninth of July, A. D., 1859, during the pastor- 
ate of the Reverand W. B. Slaughter, the new parsonage and 
church were burned to the ground. Immediately steps were 
taken for the erection of a new and commodious stone church 
on the site of the former structure, the corner stone of which 
was laid September, 1859. The time of building was ninety- 
three days. This church was formally dedicated by Bishop 
Simpson, August 30, 1860. The Reverend John H. Vincent 
preached the evening sermon. Bishop Simpson remarked that 
it was the first church he had ever dedicated without raising 
money. For half a century this church stood in the heart of 
the city and exerted upon the life of the community a blessed 
influence for God and righteousness. 

This has been the mother church of Methodism in this 
city. In 1872 a mission was opened on Richards street, a lot 
purchased, and a chapel erected at a cost of $3,200.00. Otis 
Hardy fathered this work. Frank M. Bristol, now Bishop, as 
assistant pastor to Reverend J. M. Caldwell, was its first stud- 
ent pastor. The Richards Street church became a conference 
appointment in 1875. During the pastorate of J. M. Caldwell 
and as a result of a remarkable revival, the Irving street mis- 


sion was opened and a chapel built in 1874 at cost of $2,250.00. 
Otis Hardy was also the father of this work. Student pastors 
under the supervision of the Ottawa street church had charge 
of the work for several years, and in 1886 it became a con- 
ference appointment. This church in 1910 was consolidated 
with the Ottawa Street Church. During the pastorate of 0. F. 
Matteson and through the efforts of L. E. Ross, a trustee of 
the Ottawa Street Church, a Sunday School was organized and 
the first part of the present Grace Church was built in 1890, at 
the corner of Elizabeth and Moran streets. In June, 1891, the 
church was organized by the formation of a class. The present 
church was completed and dedicated January 28, 1893, at a 
cost of $2,000.00. 

In the spring of 1891, through the efforts of the Rev- 
erend O. F. Mattison, the first Swedish Methodist service was 
held in the lecture room of the Ottawa Street church and the 
First Swedish Methodist Episcopal Church was organized. The 
Reverend Claus Ackerman was the first pastor sent in 1891. 
This church has a beautiful and commodious home on the cor- 
ner of Park Avenue and Clay street. 

January 12, 1909 the church property on the south east 
corner of Ottawa and Clinton streets was sold for $32,500.00. 
Immediately steps were taken for the erection of a new church. 
It was decided to build on the site of the parsonage, one block 
north, on the Northeast corner of Ottawa and Cass streets. 
The old parsonage was sold for $900.00 and moved away. 

In December, 1909, the Irving Street people sold their 
church property for $12,500.00 and consolidated their inter- 
ests with the mother church in the summer and fall of 1910. 
The history of this church is an honorable and worthy one 
and reflects large credit on the heroic band of Christians who 
so faithfully maintained the work in that portion of the city. 


The First Methodist Church of Lockport was founded in 
1838 under the direction of Rev. Wm. S. Crissy, who was ap- 
pointed to the Joliet Circuit, Chicago District by the Illinois 
Conference. Joliet Circuit extended from Wilmington on the 
south to Lockport and Plainfield on the north and first ap- 
peared in the Illinois Conference Minutes in 1836 with Stephen 
R. Beggs as Pastor in Charge. 

Lockport was first settled about 1830 by a group of early 
settlers from New York. Among them was John Heck, a grand- 


son of Barbara Heck, the mother of American Methodism. His 
grave and monument are near the southeast corner of the 
Lockport cemetery. 

Real impetus was given to the establishment of Metho- 
dism in Lockport when a revival was held in 1843 under the 
direction of the pastor Stephen R. Beggs. A. D. Fields in his 
"Memorials of Methodism" tells of this revival : "The meeting 
at first was dry and dull and the wicked were prophesying 
that Mr. Beggs would fail. By the kindness of the pastor of the 
Congregational Society, the meetings were held in their 
church. The members took hold, and after a few evenings the 
shout of the King was heard in the camp and the work com- 
menced in earnest. For miles up and down the river people 
came to the meeting and found peace in believing." 

Church services were held in private homes until a church 
was erected in the summer of 1850 at a cost of $725 during the 
pastorate of Rev. S. F. Denning. This was a frame building 
and is still used as a private home. The lot was donated by the 
commissioners of the Illinois and Michigan canal. 

This frame building soon proved inadequate, however, and 
within five years, or in 1855 a new stone church was built at 
a cost of $6200. It was dedicated on July 4, during the pastor- 
ate of Miles L. Reed. 

The first parsonage was given to the church by Joel Man- 
ning, an outstanding leader of the church and community, who 
was converted during the revival meetings in 1843 under Rev. 
Stephen R. Beggs. The parsonage was located on the corner op- 
posite the church. 

In 1919, this corner was sold and the home just south of 
the church was remodeled and has since been used as the 

In 1924 a two story concrete block addition was made to 
the rear of the church at a cost of about $5,300 for social use. 

In 1938, the church was much improved for our centen- 
nial celebration. In 1940 the parsonage was again improved. 

During the early history of the Lockport Church we find 
it associated with other churches. From 1838 until 1850 Lock- 
port was part of the "Joliet Circuit" and was served by such 
early pioneer leaders as Wm. S. Crissey, Anbury Chenoweth, 
Stephen R. Beggs and others. 

From 1850 until 1852 Lockport was a separate appoint- 
ment. Then Yankee Settlement, a church four miles to the east. 
In 1854 Plainfield was added to the Lockport charge and was 
known as the Plainfield and Lockport Circuit. 

In 1855 Lockport again became a separate appointment. 


This continued until 1915 when the trustees of the Mt. Sterling 
Union Church requested to come into the Methodist fellowship. 
Rev. E. J. Rose was pastor at the time and on Nov. 28, 1915 
received ninty-four charter members into the church. 

For some years this church, known now as the Fairmont 
Methodist Church, carried on its work alone, but it is again 
a part of the Lockport fellowship. Rev. Royal J. Synwolt now 
serves as pastor of the church. 


In 1834 L. A. Sugg was appointed to the Buffalo Grove 
Mission. He was succeeded by James McKean in 1835, who 
delivered the first Methodist sermon preached in Stephenson 
County, Illinois. In 1836-1838, he was appointed by the Illinois 
Conference as missionary to the territory of northern Illinois 
between the Rock River and the Mississippi River. Just a year 
previous to this appointment, in 1836, the old Indian village 
of the noted Chief Winnesheik became the town of Freeport. 
Stephenson County came into being in 1837, with Freeport as 
its county seat, and the contract for the building of the Court 
House was let Dec. 6, 1837. This Court House was fitted with 
rough seats made of split logs supported by legs made of 
sticks driven into augur holes, yet it became "the best preach- 
ing place in northern Illinois. " Other early meeting places were 
"the home of W. W. Buck, Mr. Guiteau's store, and 'the little 
red school house'." 

There is no written record of the formation of a "class" 
in these early years. There is, however, in the custody of the 
Freeport Public Library, a photographic copy of the first 
known "Class Book" containing the following statement in the 
hand writing of Rev. F. D. Buckley : "The first class in Free- 
port was formed Dec. 13, 1840, but the leader delayed making 
a class book, in order to obtain a blank book from the preacher 
in charge, until May 11, 1841, when the class contained 25 mem- 
bers. When first formed it contained but nine members — ". 
The records for 1840 mention the fact that "prayer meetings 
were held Sunday and Thursday evenings, and $35.75 was the 
amount of money raised per quarter." The first quarterly con- 
ference was held at Freeport in the Court House, May 22, 1841. 
At the quarterly conference Nov. 27, 1841, it was "resolved 
that it was expedient to attempt to build a meeting house at 
Freeport the present conference year" and the following board 
of trustees was elected: Joseph Carey, F. C. Winslow, Rodney 


Montague, F. D. Buckley, Peter Van Sickle, Barton Jones, Levy 
Robey, Barton Thatcher, and, at the next quarterly conference 
J. McCool and Julius Smith were added. 

The lot on which the First Methodist Church now stands 
was purchased Oct. 24, 1842 for $50.00, and a 'frail stone foun- 
dation for a frame building was laid", but there the building 
stopped and the foundation lay unused until a revival in 1850 
made a permanent meeting house necessary. In 1851, a frame 
structure, valued at $2000.00, was built mostly from donated 
labor and materials. 

The Church grew rapidly, and by 1863 another church edi- 
fice was needed. The building campaign was prefaced by a 
series of revival meetings. A new building costing $13,000.00, 
was dedicated in 1865, but not without some grave differences 
among the membership, for in that year "sixty members 
withdrew from First Church to form Embury Church. Some 
of these, it is understood, were devout souls who objected to 
the presence of an organ in the new First Church. 

Two previous parsonages served to house ministers' fam- 
ilies ; the present structure was built in 1903. Also by that time, 
a new church edifice was needed, and, the present (1940) 
church building, modelled after the Studebaker Memorial 
Church in South Bend, Ind., was erected at a cost of $34,500.00, 
and, was dedicated May 7, 1905 by Bishop Wm. F. McDowell. 

Each of the three church buildings entertained sessions of 
the Rock River Conference and the church has made a notable 
contribution both to its community and to the denomination. 
From its consecrated membership, 8 young men have gone 
into the Christian ministry, one has gone to the foreign mis- 
sion field, one has become a church minister of music, and 
five of its young women have married ministers, three of whom 
are serving in the Rock River Conference at the present time. 

A bronze plaque, mounted in the sanctuary entrance, 
bears the names of all of the pastors who have served this 



The beginnings of Methodism in Elgin go back to the 
year 1836, when the Reverend William Royal, of the Fox River 
Methodist Circuit, established an appointment at Elgin and 
formed a class of seven members, of which the leader was John 
Hammers. Early records of the church include frequent men- 
tion of the names of Hammers, Hamilton, Russell, and Sher- 
man, all of whom were active leaders. 

The first regularly assigned preacher at Elgin was the 
Reverend Washington Wilcox who came in 1837. The Elgin 
circuit included 32 preaching places and covered a territory of 
about 40 miles square. 


Three church buildings have marked the progress of the 
organization of First Church through the years. The first was 
a small frame, one story building erected in 1839 at a cost of 
$150.00. The first building measured 24x32 ft., the timber for 
which was donated by one of the members. Morris Benham did 
the carpentry work for $3.00 in cash and $147.00 in "Sund- 
ries". The congregation grew and the first building was twice 
enlarged to produce additional facilities. The second church 
building was erected in 1866 at a cost of $30,000, and occupied 
the site of the first structure, a location still held as the home 
of First Church on Milwaukee-Center-Division Streets. 
Because that building filled the entire lot, and growing con- 
gregations and activities indicated the necessity of a still larger 
structure, the Tefft property adjacent to the church lot was 
purchased in 1914 at a cost of $14,000. Plans were drawn for a 
new church building with much larger facilities than those 
hitherto provided. 

Under the ministry of the Reverend J. B. Martin, the new 
edifice was built in 1924 at a cost of $360,000. This impressive 
stone structure, containing 101 rooms provides ample facilities 


for a congregation of over 1400 members and a church school 
of approximately 1000 members. The building was planned 
with special reference to facilities for the church school and 
was in large measure a realization of the dream of David C. 
Cook Sr., who contributed more than one-third of the entire 
cost of the building. 

In 1892 a chapel was built in the north part of the city on 
Lincoln Avenue, which through the years has been allied with 
the work of First Church and where a Sunday School is still 

Since 1938, the Reverend Forrest W. Hoisington has been 
the pastor. Four men have gone out from First Church into 
the work of the ministry; the Reverend E. J. Aikin and the 
Reverend John E. Fluck, both honored members of the Rock 
River Conference, the Reverend Lyman Bayard, for many 
years organist of the church was later ordained and is now in 
California, and the Reverend Vinton Ziegler, now the pastor of 
the First Methodist Church in Rye, New York. 


Jesse Walker was a self-appointed "missionary to the Ind- 
ians," and in this capacity, he worked for a number of years 
alone. Eventually, he was set apart by the church as "Mission- 
ary to the Missouri Conference whose attention is particularly 
directed to the Indians in the bounds of said conference." A 
letter from Walker to the Missionary Society says: "In the 
Spring of 1825, with five white families, I proceeded to the 
mouth of the Fox River and opened a school with 14 Indian 
children. Finding the station, not on Indian land, I proceeded 13 
miles up the Fox River and selected a site." 

In the fall of 1828 Walker was appointed to the Peoria 
Circuit, reaching from Peoria to Chicago. In 1829, the name 
was changed to Fox River Mission and this included the ter- 
ritory north of Peoria to Chicago. In 1830 he was appointed to 
the Chicago Mission. In 1830 "Ottawa a small village at the 
south side of the river" appears as Jesse Walker's Des Plaines 
Mission. He was succeeded here by S. R. Beggs in 1831, Walk- 
er taking the Des Plaines Circuit, reaching from Ottawa to the 
Wisconsin line. In 1832 the appointment appears as "Ottawa 
at Sister Pembrokes," S. R. Beggs in charge. In 1833 the Ot- 
tawa Mission appeared with William Royal in charge. He 
continued two years and was succeeded in 1835 by S. F. Whit- 
ney. In 1836 Rufus Lummerey was in charge. 


In 1833, Samuel R. Beggs consolidated Walker's efforts, 
and organized the first Methodist Class or Church Society in 
Ottawa. His circuit was a four-weeks journey and consisted of 
sixteen charges. John Sinclair was appointed pastor in 1837, 
and was followed by Wesley Batcheller in 1839. 

The first recorded meeting of the "Ottawa Mission' was 
in the "Mechanics Hall" located at the corner of LaSalle and 
Madison streets. A drug store occupied the ground floor. In 
1847, the Rev. J. C. Stoughton became pastor of the Mission. 
Under his leadership a frame church was erected in the sum- 
mer of 1848 at the corner of Jefferson and LaSalle streets at 
a cost of nearly $6000, the membership consisting almost en- 
tirely of residents on farms. N. P. Heath became pastor in 
August, 1850, and in the earliest class book available, he re- 
cords the names of 112 members in three classes. 

In 1865, the lots which consisted of the front yard to the 
parsonage were used as the site of the new church built at a 
cost of $9000. The next year, "First Church" entertained the 
sessions of the Rock River Conference. Twenty-one years later, 
extensive remodeling was carried out in the church, and the 
Rock River Conference accepted its invitation to meet in Ot- 
tawa and the sessions of 1889 were held here. The next for- 
ward step in connection with the church property came inl911 
when the present "sham-rock" veneer was applied 

The rapidity of the growth of the society is indicated by 
the fact that in 1853, a separate society was organized in south 
Ottawa to be known as the "Second Methodist Episcopal 
Church." It is now known as the "Epworth Methodist 
Church." During the pastorate of the Rev. Chas. W. Briggs, 
the two churches came together under one pastor, this plan 
prevailing until 1938, when they were again placed under 
separate pastoral leadership. 

"First Church" has been privileged to exercise genuine 
leadership in the direction of church unity. She introduced, 
and conducted the first union Communion Service in this com- 
munity. Likewise she was instrumental in bringing to Ottawa 
the union "Three-Hour" devotional service on Good Friday. 
Both these services are now of city-wide observance. 

The centennial celebration came in 1933 under the pastor- 
ate of the Rev. George Green. Bishop Edward H. Hughes, the 
Bishop of the Chicago Area, gave the centennial address. 

Already "First Church" is moving into its second century 
with signs of its original vigor in evidence. Under the leader- 
ship of Dr. Henry Edward Rompel, the old parsonage beside the 
church was sold, and the money thus obtained was used to re- 
model the church in keeping with the trends of modern church 


architecture. The present parsonage is one of the famous "old 
residences" of the city, located at 300 E. Lafayette St. It was 
built by a cabinet maker for his own home, and was later sold 
to First Church as a home for its pastor. 

During the current year, 1940, the many women's or- 
ganizations of the church have been reorganized and a spirit 
of unity brought into their program through the Women's So- 
ciety of Christian Service. 

At the centennial session of the Conference held at Free- 
port there were reported 514 members, with 44 inactives, a 
Sunday School with 378 enrolled, and an Epworth League of 
thirty. The property valuation is $45,000 with but $1100 of 

The Rev. R. Merrill Powers, newly appointed pastor, 
comes to us with a wide experience covering nine years in the 
Dakota Conference and six in the Rock River Conference. In 
harmony with the plans of the Centennial Commission, he has 
outlined an expensive program of Evangelism and Christian 
enterprise for "First Church". As the twilight of evening is 
the sure promise of tomorrow's dawn, so the end of a glorious 
century of Christian service is the prophetic assurance of bet- 
ter things to come in His Name. — Mrs. June Bach Roberts, 


The Pioneers: The first white settlers came to Sa- 
vanna in 1828. Among them were George and Vance L. David- 
son, Aaron Pierce and William Blundell and their families. 
The Ashby family came perhaps a little later. They were 
known as ardent and devout Methodist families. In 1835 Rev. 
James McKean was appointed to the Buffalo Grove Circuit, 
which included all the territory between Galena and Rock 
Island, the Mississippi and Rock rivers. Savanna was a part 
of this circuit. 

The history of the Methodist Church in Savanna begins 
in 1836, when the first Methodist preacher came up along the 
Mississippi river on horseback with all his belongings in sad- 
dle bags. The three families first mentioned formed a society, 
meeting in their homes, then successively in a warehouse, a 
school house, and a court room. 

Savanna Circuit: Savanna continued as a part of the 
Buffalo Grove Circuit until 1840. In that year the name 
"Savannah Circuit" appeared for the first time, and embraced 
all the country along the Mississippi river from Galena to 
Rock Island. It was a wild, new country, and the best place 


that the first resident minister in Savanna, Philo Judson, could 
find for use as a "parsonage" was a board shanty put up under 
the lee of a larger building. In 1842 "Savannah Circuit", sixty- 
miles in length, was divided and the southern portion called 
"Union Grove", including Erie, Morrison, Albany, Fulton, and 
other preaching points in Whiteside County. 

In the fall of 1839 the first camp meeting was held in 
Jenks Grove, one mile east of town. Rev. Bartholomew Weed, 
presiding elder, was in charge. 

In 1843 the county seat was moved from Savanna to 
Mount Carroll. In 1845 the appointment was changed from 
"Savanna Circuit" to "Mount Carroll Circuit." The early his- 
tory of Mount Carroll states that "Rev. Philo Judson and 
later Revs. Buck and G. S. L. Stuff came as missionaries from 
Savanna to organize the work at Mount Carroll". In 1857 
Savanna again appears as a separate appointment. 

Church Buildings: The first church built in Sa- 
vanna was the Methodist Church, on the southwest corner of 
Third and Van Buren streets, dedicated in 1849. The trustees 
were George Davidson, John Fuller, Samuel Free, William 
Blundell, John Burch, William Ashby and Robert Ashby. This 
building having proved inadequate, a new building was com- 
pleted and dedicated May 26, 1868, during the pastorate of 
Hiram U. Reynolds, at a cost of $3,500. The trustees were 
John Fuller, George Haas, J. A. Cooley, L. H. Bowen, H. C. 
Pierce, W. B. Goodenough, Simeon Gilbert, and J. Wesley Ful- 
ler. In 1908, during the pastorate of Rev. Christian F. Klei- 
hauer, this frame building was remodeled to provide for base- 
ment rooms and brick veneer for the entire building, and dedi- 
cated November 1, 1908. The present parsonage, replacing a 
former parsonage on the same site, is a modern brick build- 
ing, built in 1927, during the pastorate of Rev. A. J. Bishop, 
at a cost of $8,500, the final debt payment being made during 
the pastorate of Rev. W. S. Feldwisch. 

Pastoral Service: 1836-37, James McKean; 1837- 
38, Robert Delap; 1838-39, Isaac Pool; 1839-40, G. G. Worth- 
ington; 1840-41. Philo Judson; 1841-42, W. W. Buck and G. L. 
S. Stuff; 1842-43, W. A. Smith; 1843-44, Thomas North; 1844- 
46, F. C. Winslow; 1846-48, Michael Decker; 1848-49, Joseph 
Best; 1849-50, John Luccock; 1850-51, Miles L. Reed; 1851-53, 
Aaron Wolf; 1853-55, John Crummer; 1855-57, Robert Beattie; 
1857-59, W. D. Atcheson; 1859-61, Giles L. Wiley; 1861-64, R. 
C. Clendenning; 1864-66, Charles Perkins; 1866-67, Wm. A. 
Cross; 1867-68, Hiram U. Reynolds; 1868-70, Leonard Holt; 
1870-72, Seymour Stover; 1872-73, James M. Bean; 1873-74, 
S. S. Helsby; 1874-75, G. H. Wells; 1875-76, Z. S. Kellog. 

1876-77, F. B. Hardin; 1877-79, G. P. Sullivan; 1879-81, 


Joseph Crummer; 1881, C. H. Hempstreet; 1881-82 T. L. Olm- 
sted; 1882-83, John Imlay; 1883-84, C. H. Hempstreet; 1884- 
87, Samuel Lauver; 1887-90, J. G. B. Shadford; 1890-91, R. A. 
Harwood; 1891-93, J. M. Griswold; 1893-94, S. C. Leavell; 1894- 
99, G. A. Irving; 1899-02, D. T. Kahl and W. R. Wilson; 1902- 
04, H. K. Vernon; 1904-06, G. A. Griswold; 1906-09, C. F. 
Kleihauer; 1909-11, F. W. Merrell; 1911-13, John Lee; 1913- 
14, A. E. Simister; 1914-16, H. W. Dack; 1916-20, D. E. Cruea; 
1920-24, B. C. Holloway ; 1924-28, A. J. Bishop; 1928-32, W. S. 
Feldwisch; 1932-37, Royal J. Synwolt; 1937-39, Thos. K. Grif- 
fith; 1939, A. E. Blomberg. 

The Program: A characteristic of this church is its 
outstanding- loyalty to the missionary and benevolent enter- 
prises of the church. Present day activities include the fol- 
lowing flourishing organizations: 

Sunday Church School, Two Epworth Leagues, Brother- 
hood. A fully organized Woman's Society of Christian Service, 
divided into seven circles. A young adult Fidelis Club and Boy 

The Leadership: Albert E. Blomberg is pastor of 
this church and the church at Hanover, also a centennial 
church, now 105 years old. 

The Rev. Charles Lyons, Sr., retired, is a member of 
Savanna Quarterly Conference. 

Choir Director, Mrs. Albert Greison; Organist, Mrs. Ray- 
mond Phillips. 

Stewards: Henry Airhart, Allen Airhart, Sylvester 
Alden, Harry Casselberry, Paul Daly, Mrs. P. M. Ferguson, 
Charles W. Fisher, Mrs. Albert Greison, Mrs. Vernon Hollis- 
ter, Frank Lister, Mrs. T. P. Madsen, Virgil Marth, Burdette 
Mercer, Mrs. Hazel Phillips, Mrs. M. W. Stark, Paul V. Stevens, 
Mrs. Garfield Watson, Mrs. William Waymack, Arthur Weid- 
man, Mrs. I. S. Williams, Mrs. J. C. Wittenberger. 

Trustees: P. M. Ferguson, Chas. W. Fisher, E. G. 
Graves, Frank Lister, T. P. Madsen, Garfield Watson, Jacob 
Weidman, I. S. Williams, George W. Wolf. 

Lay Leader, Paul V. Stevens ; Treasurer, Local Expenses, 
Frank Lister; Benevolence Treasurer, Mrs. P. M. Ferguson; 
Financial Secretary, Paul Daly; Recording Steward, Burdette 
Mercer ; Communion Steward, Mrs. William Waymack ; Direc- 
tor of Religious Education, Mrs. Sylvester Alden; Lay Mem- 
ber, Annual Conference, Mrs. M. W. Stark; Alternate, Mrs. 
Wm. Waymack ; Church School Superintendent, T. P. Madsen ; 
President, Brotherhood, Arthur Weidman ; President, Woman's 
Society of Christian Service, Mrs. Raymond Phillips; Presi- 
dents of Epworth Leagues, Mary Pazour, Paul Stevens, Jr. ; 
President, young adults, Fidelis Club, Morgan Kloster. 


By Constance Hasenstab Elmes 

"Break Thou the bread of life, Dear Lord, to me, 
As Thou didst break the loaves Beside the sea; 
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord; 
My spirit pants for Thee, living Word!" 

The people were singing together, but without a sound. 
They were singing with their hands, with rhythmic gestures 
as their hands moved in unison. Here was rhythm without 
tone. Emotion and beauty without sound. Spirituality of 
thought expressed in gesture. Symbolic gestures. Pointing up- 
ward with reverence they sang of God and Heaven. Marking 
the nail prints in His Hands they sang of Jesus. They folded 
their hands and bowed their heads for prayer. Together they 
said in the sign language the Apostles' Creed and the Lord's 
Prayer. Then they watched with responsive faces the sermon 
by Phillip J. Hasenstab who has been their pastor for 48 years. 

Even one unfamiliar with the language could sense the 
emotional power in his gestures, and see the response, physical 
mental and spiritual on the part of the people. So this group, 
and many similar groups of deaf people are meeting regularly 
to help each other find God and live His way. These benefits 
are theirs because of the gift to them of the sign language, 
and because of the life of a man who followed his vision. 

Philip J. Hasentab, one of the pioneer preachers among 
the 125,000 deaf people in the United States, became deaf after 
illness at the age of two. 

As he grew up in the home and at play there was always 
the barrier of his deafness which made the communication of 
ideas slow and difficult. One of his early memories is of a time 
when he and his father tried to reach out and understand each 
other. "Father tried to tell me that he had come from across 
the ocean. He would put salt into a glass of water, stir it up, 
and ask me to taste it. I did and found it salty, but had no idea 
of what he was trying to explain until long after." 

He attended church with his family, and though he was 
interested in what he could see, he grew restless because he 
could not hear and understand what it all meant. So they left 
him at home. 

When he was nine, he went away from home to the School 
for the Deaf in Indianapolis. Here he learned from the old 
masters the sign language of the deaf in all its beauty. Com- 
munication of ideas became easy, quick, and clear through 
signs. He learned eagerly. He worked and played hard, with 
study and football both on his program. When he graduated 


from the National College for the Deaf in Washington, D. C. 
he became a teacher in the Illinois School for the Deaf. 

In school he was under constructive spiritual as well as in- 
tellectual influences. The early teachers of the deaf were 
deeply religious men. The founder of the first school for the 
deaf had written, "Believing that these two unfortunates 
would live and die in ignorance of religion if I had made no 
effort to instruct them, my heart was filled with compassion." 
So the Abbe de l'Epee, by study and experiment, devised the 
sign language in France, a little more than 150 years ago. His 
successor taught these methods to young Thomas Hopkins 
Gallaudet who came from America to "learn the art of instruct- 
ing the deaf." Gallaudet established the first school for the 
deaf in Hartford, Conn. His motives are clearly indicated 
in his diary: 

"Almighty God, thou hast placed me in my present situa- 
tion. Thou seest my heart. Thou knowest my desire is to be de- 
voted to thy service, and to be made the instrument of train- 
ing up the deaf and dumb for heaven." 

Of his work, it has been recorded, "The greatest triumph 
of his method was the clearness with which he could unfold 
to pupils of a few weeks standing the new and startling ideas 
of immaterial existence, God, and immortality." 

When Philip Hasenstab began his work as a teacher, he 
was again associated with people of great faith. Philip Gillett 
and Laura Sheridan were both children of early Methodist 
circuit riders. So he too became actively interested in the spirit- 
ual as well as intellectual development of the children. 

He began preaching in 1889. In answer to a petition from 
the deaf people living in Chicago, Dr. Gillett arranged, through 
the City Missionary Society and the First Methodist Church, 
for monthly services for the deaf. Dr. Gillett held the first 
service in May, 1889, and Philip Hasenstab preached his first 
sermon in Chicago and made monthly trips to Chicago during 
the school year. 

In 1890 he was licensed to preach by Grace Church of 
Jacksonville. In 1893 the City Missionary Society established 
the Mission for the Deaf, appointing him the minister. Ser- 
vices were held weekly in the First Methodist Church. 

In 1894, he was ordained Deacon by Bishop J. H. Vincent 
at the Rock River Conference session at Galena; and in 1899 
he was ordained Elder by Bishop John F. Hurst and Bishop 
Charles Galloway. Rev. Hasenstab was the first deaf man ever 
ordained in the history of Methodism. Until her death in July, 
1941, his wife Georgianna Elliott Hasenstab shared her hus- 
band's work, often filled his pulpit while he preached in other 


cities, and in every way devoted her life to their common cause. 

"There are three points in favor of receiving this young 
man into our ministry", said the Presiding Elder, Dr. Wm. 
Burns, "First, we can say anything about him we wish, and 
he will never hear it; Second, he will never seek any brother 
minister's appointment ; and third, no other minister will ever 
want his place." 

So he became a "Prophet of the Long Road", traveling 
constantly. Trips into Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, 
Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Michi- 
gan, Minnesota, Maine, Ohio, Maryland, Wisconsin, Florida, 
Canada and Washington, D. C. 

The parish now is about 800 miles long and 350 miles 
wide, extending into 11 conferences in 6 states. Every month 
services are held regularly, in a different city or town each 
day. They meet in churches, homes, Y. W. C. A., Y. M. C. A., 
out of doors, once in a box car at the noon hour. 

Floods and blizzards, driving in the milk truck, shoveled 
out of drifts every few feet by farmers along the way, deep 
snow blocking roads, walking across open fields for miles, 
walking along railroad tracks when trains were blocked, walk- 
ing miles through country by moonlight and starlight at three 
in the morning to an early train, by caboose of a freight train, 
by sleigh, so he has gone to reach his people. 

And the deaf people have come to him. Sometimes they 
have driven 40 miles to an evening meeting and 40 miles home 
again. One mother said, "We bring our five year old daughter 
with us, even though she doesn't yet understand signs well 
enough to understand it all. I want her to always remember her 
father and mother went to church. I think it will help her." 

The deaf are appreciative, and are capable of deep spirit- 
ual response- One young man wrote, "I went, gave my troubles 
to God, and almost instantly I felt at peace. Today I no longer 
fear death, and I find my greatest joy in telling others about 
him, and helping others understand His teaching. For to live 
without Him isn't living but just existing. My life has taught 
me that." 

For over twenty years the deaf church people here have 
given 2 scholarships to deaf children in the School for the 
Deaf in Cheefoo, China. For 38 years, they have published the 
"Silent Herald", containing a sermon, outline for daily Bible 
Study, and religious news. This paper goes all over this country 
and to some foreign countries, reaching many who are still 
without any personal spiritual contacts. One man said, "I was 
so glad to get it, and read every word. You don't know how 
lonely it is to be the only deaf person in the whole town." 


At present, associated with Philip Hasentab in the work, 
are Henry S. Rutherford, and Constance Hasenstab Elmes. 

So this ministry has gone on through the years, and still 
goes on with Philip Hasenstab 79 years old, active and eager 
as ever to serve God and his people. 

Since the above was written the dear and faithful com- 
panion of Brother Hasenstab who shared his burdens through 
the long years, has passed to her reward, the reward of a 
noble and faithful Christian. 


Camp Grounds and Institutes 


Prepared by Virginia M. Freeberg 

Early Years: Two Brickton* farmers paced the rail- 
road platform at Des Plaines Station early one August after- 
noon in 1860. They were W. C. Holton and Joel Burlingame. 
When the suburban train puffed into the station, two clergy- 
men alighted, Rev. Arza Brown and Presiding Elder E. M. 
Boring, of the Chicago District. After rearranging their 
cravats, straightening their tophats, and brushing the dust of 
sixteen miles from their Prince Alberts, they climbed into the 
waiting wagon, which bumped off a mile and a half along the 
Des or Aux Plaines river to the farm home of Squire Socrates 
Rand. Rand greeted them heartily and led them out into his 
fine grove of hardwood trees. Satisfied that this would be an 
ideal spot for outdoor protracted meetings, the city clergymen 
suggested stakes be cut to mark the site chosen, and then asked 
all present to join in a prayer of consecration for the task 

A few weeks later, upon the completion of the lush middle 
western harvest, several hundred Chicago and surrounding 
country Methodists descended upon the grove and pitched 
tents for a week's stay. The grounds had been admirably ar- 
ranged through the efforts of James Lawrence, master builder 
and architect. A large clearing had been set aside for meet- 
ings. A circle of tents surrounded it and two avenues stretch- 
ed out from it like spokes in a wheel. In all, over forty tents 
were erected, including a huge tent to accommodate the clergy 
and the preaching platform. Separate tents for boarding pur- 
poses and to assure privacy, as at home, for the ladies were 
set up. 

The opening meeting on Wednesday, August 29, 1860 
was led by the Rev. Mr. Olmstead of the Elk Grove Circuit. 
On Sunday, September 2, Bishop Matthew Simpson preached 
to a throng of nearly ten thousand in the woodland setting. To 
the disgust of the arrangements committee, the Chicago and 
Northwestern Railroad ignored the request that no Sunday 
train be operated and thousands poured into the grove from 
the city. To the campers' amazement, however, instead of 
*Later to be known as Park Ridge. 


the anticipated rowdies, whole carloads of devout families and 
pillars of the church arrived. On Monday over a hundred were 
presented for baptism by the Bishop, among them the infant 
daughter Anna of W. C. and Sarah Burlingame Holton and 
granddaughter of Joel. Seventy-six years later the great- 
grandson of Anna Holton, Robert Neal, was baptized on a Camp 
Meeting Sunday by Bishop Ernest L. Waldorf. 

So successful was the first Camp Meeting that before its 
completion plans were under way for another the next year. 
Squire Rand again offered his grove and jubilant preparations 
went forward. In the intervening year the Civil War came 
and some urged that the projected meetings be dropped, but 
the planners believed that more than ever Faith was 
needed in this National Emergency. On July 21, 1861, when 
the news of the first repulse of the Union forces at Manassas 
reached the grounds, a mighty war rally took place. Religious 
meetings were suspended for the day and Rev. Henry Cox of 
Wabash Avenue church remarked, "Brethren, we had better 
adjourn this camp meeting and go home and drill." Dr. T. M. 
Eddy, standing under the flag, led in the singing of the Star 
Spangled Banner. A number of Camp boys enlisted, immed- 
iately following the meeting, among them Frederic M. Holton, 
who was killed in action December 31, 1862. 

In 1862, due to the urgency of war news in all publications, 
little is known of the meetings except that they took place. In 
'63 and '64 they continued to grow and prosper and at the end 
of 1864, it was decided a permanent site should be chosen. As 
Squire Rand was reluctant to sell his choice tract, a search for 
a new location in the nearby countryside was authorized. After 
a number of separate deals were made, a tract of twenty acres 
on the southeast bank of the river was obtained close to the 
main line of the railroad and just south of the Northwestern 
picnic grove. 

In 1865 the new grounds were laid out. A permanent 
wooden preaching stand with accommodations for the clergy 
was erected along with several cottages and over seventy 
tents. On August 25, 1865, the new site was formally dedi- 
cated. Again the grounds had been laid out with a circle of 
tents about the preaching area and with diagonal avenues out 
through the grove named for Bishops Simpson, Asbury, and 
Thompson, and John Wesley. Later the main walk from the 
trains became known as Chicago Avenue and other walks were 
named Merrill, Dempster, Clark, Scott, and Ames. 

In 1860 children's meetings had been held for the first time 
at a camp meeting by Rev. B. T. Vincent. They were continued 
at the new site by Albert G. Lane. Thousands of Sunday School 
children passed under the firm but sympathetic guidance of 


kindly Albert Lane, who for years was superintendent of the 
Cook County and Chicago schools. Soon after lunch, clean and 
fed, the youngsters would dash to the enclosure and scramble 
for front seats. Bible stories, Sunday School hymns, mission- 
ary stories and sometimes testimonies would follow. Stories 
of sin from such innocents were generally discounted by on- 
lookers. Year after year, boys and girls grew up into the 
church under this wise and splendid leadership. Many years 
later Deaconess Mary Anna Taggart picked up the threads 
of the fine work and carried it down to present days. 

Years of Crisis: The First Board of Trustees was in- 
corporated under the old Constitution of Illinois as the Chicago 
District Camp Ground Association in 1867. Members of the 
Board at that time were : Geo. F. Foster, Charles M. Lindgren, 
Ransom E. Clough, Robert W. Meacham, Thomas C. Hoag, 
Joseph E. Kennicott, John B. Ayers, James S. Kirk, and Eld- 
ridge T. Rider. That same year a severe editorial attack was 
launched against the Institution of Camp Meeting" by the 
Chicago Sunday Times in which it was stated that "They have 
had their day and should be stored away in the lumber room 
of the past and be allowed to mould . . . and to decay in com- 
pany with the thousand other things once valuable, but for 
which the age has no further use." 

For years rowdies plagued the outskirts of the meetings, 
openly tippling and blaspheming to shock the sedate and de- 
vout while engaged in their devotions. Police were present to 
enforce order and large jurisdictional powers had been grant- 
ed the trustees in their charter to prevent serious disorders. 
However, the discordant activities slowly gathered momentum 
and on Sunday, August 25, 1867, a serious tragedy marred the 
meetings. A group of drunken rowdies engaged some camp 
meeting-bound German farmers in a battle in the town of Des 
Plaines in front of a tavern where the rowdies had been drink- 
ing heavily. The desperate farmers, greatly outnumbered, 
were forced to take refuge in a wagon shop and one of their 
number obtained a shotgun. In the ensuing riot a young man 
named Peter Menscheu was shot through the head and in- 
stantly killed. Whether Menscheu was an innocent victim or 
was one of the rioters is disputed, but the tragedy rocked the 
Camp Meeting for a number of years before the public trouble- 
makers stayed away. 

In 1869 the program fell to pieces with a sharp dispute 
between the city and country pastors as to the running of the 
Sunday trains. Led by the Rev. Dr. R. M. Hatfield, the city 
preachers refused to take part in the services unless the Sun- 
day train was discontinued. The country preachers stoutly 


maintained that the taverns lining the wagon roads were a 
greater temptation to sin than the running of the trains. 

The country brethren won and in 1870 invited the Na- 
tional Holiness Camp Meeting with Thomas Inskip and Alfred 
Cookman to hold their meetings at Des Plaines. For the first 
time a huge tent, capable of sheltering 5,000 persons was 
stretched over the "Holy Circle" and a church-like aspect was 
nearer reality. In the meantime permanent wooden "tents" 
arose everywhere, surrounding the circle and branching out 
the avenues. The tiny Swiss cottages with their curly wooden 
trim delighted the visitors to the grounds. Thousands came 
to meetings, crowding forty in a house, sleeping in groves on 
the ground, in trees, on benches, and in hammocks. The ac- 
commodations were taxed to the utmost to supply necessities 
of living and food for stomachs as well as the souls of the 
thousands of hungry saints. 

In the years following the National Holiness Camp Meet- 
ing, Des Plaines went through one of the severest crises in its 
entire history. Churchmen would return from the eastern 
seaboard and relate the charm and elegance of Ocean Grove, 
Orchard Patch, and Sea Cliff, and advantages of "combining 
sea breezes with religion." The wealthy North Shore mem- 
bers and fashionable preachers were mightily tempted and at 
last it was decided to abandon the wooded site on the rambling 
Des Plaines. In 1874 it was formally voted upon by the board 
of trustees and the members of the Association, and the deci- 
sion to sell the grounds was forced over the protests of Messrs. 
Kennicott, and Clough and Rev. A. Leonard. 

In 1875 the last meetings to be held upon the old grounds 
were announced; and sadly the people who had grown in fif- 
teen years to love the comfortable old site with its majestic 
trees and fresh country air prepared to leave to return no 
more. As the days went by the deepness of feeling increased 
and on the final night people were weeping openly as they 
asked once more for consecration. A beautiful testimony 
meeting was held. Songs and praises for Des Plaines alter- 
nated. Far into the night stories of what Des Plaines had 
meant were related by persons who could not contain their 
grief. The Swedish people who had come with the Norwegian 
brethren for the last joint meeting were sobbing. When the 
meeting broke up, the Scandinavians returned to their taber- 
nacle and carried on their meeting all night. The next and 
final day, only half-hearted preparations were made to leave. 
It was not until a tent and cottage holders meeting drew up a 
petition requesting that the beloved grounds not be sold and 
the petition signed by several hundred persons, that crowds 


finally went home. The trustees acted upon this earnest re- 
quest and postponed further action on selling the grounds. 

The Lake Bluff enthusiasts went ahead with their plans 
and in 1876 meetings were held upon both sites. Stirred by 
the competition, the Des Plaines people launched numerous im- 
portant improvements. A magnificent new tent was pur- 
chased. Planks on logs were removed and comfortable 
benches set up. A wooden sidewalk from the train to the 
tabernacle was erected to save feet on muddy days. Visitors 
at both Lake Bluff and Des Plaines, while willing to grant 
Lake Bluff the more pretentious site, openly preferred the at- 
mosphere at Des Plaines. The rivalry between the two places 
was intense for many years, but gradually Lake Bluff became 
increasingly secularized. Gone were the great preaching, 
prayer meetings, and Lake Bluff faded away into the obscur- 
ity of a suburban village. 

Years of Grace: Des Plaines Camo Grounds grew 
and prospered. The Women's Foreign Missionary Society 
which had its beginnings in a Mothers' meeting in 1872 de- 
veloped a strong program and sent missionaries to far-off 
India and China. The Home Missions were founded and 
brought back tales on Women's Day of work among the Mor- 
mons and Indians of the West. 

In 1881 the greatest flood of local history swept down the 
Des Plaines valley, overflowing into the sluggish Chicago 
river and smashing the lake steamers in the Chicago harbor 
into such a wrecked heap that over a year was needed to clear 
up the damage. The nearby town of Des Plaines was com- 
pletely inundated and cottages on the Camp Grounds had water 
in them to the second floor. 

The need for a comfortable hotel had been evident almost 
since the inception of the grounds, but it took the genius of 
Wm. S. Verity to get one erected finally in 1882. Its twenty- 
eight rooms amply supplemented the ten rooms above the 
boarding house until 1921, when fourteen more were added 
along with a parlor and a porch. 

The children had been growing up under Albert G. Lane 
and young people's meetings were becoming popular. Under 
the leadership of Harry Date and his sister, the Young Peo- 
ple's Holy Alliance was formed in 1883. This organization 
grew into a year round institution of the church with a month- 
ly magazine, "The Alliance Herald." Harlow V. Holt, John P. 
Brushingham and other campers were active in this organiza- 
tion. In 1889 it united with other youth groups of the church 
as the Epworth League. As the oldest and largest of these 
merging groups it set the pattern for the new organization. 


The twenty-fifth anniversary was a great year of rejoic- 
ing. Ten new acres were purchased with money lent by Mr. 
Verity. This money was later repaid by the Swedish folk who 
occupied the new area. The Ladies' Improvement Committee 
presented a series of farsighted proposals asking for electric 
or gas lighting of the grounds and cottages, the raising and 
leveling of all cottages and painting them, improved sanitary 
conditions, and enlarged sleeping accommodations. 

In 1889 and 1897 the National Holiness Camp Meetings 
were again held at Des Plaines. The years were rich in relig- 
ious associations. Tommy Harrison, "the boy preacher," 
Dwight Moody, the Asbury Lowreys, the Willings, Amanda 
Smith, the colored evangelist, Billy Sunday, Col. and Mrs. 
George R. Clark of the Pacific Garden Mission, Col. Frank 
Hardin, D. W. Potter, evangelist and president of the trustees, 
Gipsy Smith, Charles Uzziel, Crossley and Hunter, and others 
brought saints and sinners alike to their knees in deep repent- 
ance. Quotas of hundreds of souls were assigned and made. 
Many faiths met and cooperated fully in the great task of 
bringing all men to a clear understanding with God. Sanctifi- 
cation, exhortations, salvation, mourners, "power" preach- 
ments, love feasts, prayer seasons, testimonies, and song ser- 
vices filled the air. Everywhere happy throngs gathered in 
rain and sunshine and worked heartily for the Lord in the 
woodland setting to which they had become passionately de- 

One day each year was set aside as a Golden Wedding 
Day for the old folks. This was day of recognition of all who 
could testify to fifty years or more "marriage" to the Christ- 
ian life. The oldsters in this group set the pace for others in 
joyous singing and fervent testimonies. The exuberance and 
devotion in their loyal hearts usually reduced the onlookers to 
tears of admiration. Among the members on this roll were: 
Father Lasher, Father Wheadon, Father Joe Kennicott, old Joel 
Burlingame, Grandma Eberhart, mother of four Methodist 
preachers, Mark DeCoudres, Mrs. Anna Pennington, Grandma 
Brown, Rev. C. L. Bowen, Elder E. M. Boring, Mrs. Phoebe 
Gray, Freeman Martin, Persis Richardson, Jerusha Sherburne, 
and others. 

Noble citizens led the lay work from the very beginning. 
Among them: Albert Lane, Peter Daggy, George Foster, 
Charles Busby, Orrington Lunt, Senator John Logan, John 
Wentworth, George B. Swift, Judge Bradwell, Col. George P. 
Robb, Capt. Julian Fitch, Joseph Kennicott, J. H. Manny, 
Fathers Wheadon and Lasher, Ransom Clough, Thomas C. 
Hoag, John Date and others too numerous to mention. 

In 1903 the long dreamed of wooden tabernacle material- 


ized. Joshua Watts labored well and steel beams took the 
place of tent poles and wooden siding displaced the billowing 

Scandinavian Fellowship: The Swedish brethren first 
came to Camp Meeting in 1864, following the native 
language programs of the German Methodists. Upon the re- 
moval to the permanent site, the Scandinavians erected the 
first large wooden tabernacle. Their building was a landmark 
for years and pioneered in conveniences for Camp Meeting. 
Later two larger chapels were erected in succession, the lat- 
ter one having sleeping accommodations on the second floor. 
Finally in 1907 the attractive wooden building now designated 
as Wesley Chapel was located in the midst of the Swedish 
church cottages called the "Square." The Norwegians dedi- 
cated their wooden tabernacle in 1906. The Swedish and 
Norwegian brethren always vied in devoutness and beautiful 
singing. The early hour of their morning prayer meetings 
was only outdone by the lateness of the last prayer meeting. 
On many a Camp Meeting night the Scandinavians prayed 
and sang the clock around. 

Among the names that stir Scandinavian memories are: 
Charles and John Lindgren, Sven Nelson, Revs. Satterfield, 
Anderson, Westergren, Berg, Petterson, Peterson, Mooganson, 
Svenson, Liljegren, and Sorlin. 

On the last night of the three great services of Camp 
Meeting a joint communion was held in the main tabernacle. 
The Norwegians gathered at their square and the Swedish 
leaders corralled their flocks. Forming lines and carrying 
lanterns, they marched down the two great avenues toward 
the circle, singing their hymns in their native tongues. The 
bobbing lanterns and sweet music were observed through the 
forest by the still throng awaiting them. After the inspiring 
mass communion the groups broke up and returned to their 
tabernacles for their final prayer meeting. 

At the close of each Camp Meeting year, after the final 
evening service, the presiding elder formed a marching group 
from the congregation. With lanterns and trumpets leading, 
the marchers wended their way about the encampment in ser- 
pentine fashion, singing "We're Marching to Zion". At the 
end of the "march around" there were handshakes all around 
and tearful farewells. This custom became a tradition of 
Camp Meeting. 

Fiftieth Anniversary: By the time 1909 brought the 
Golden Jubilee session, campers were ready to pause in 
their labors and reflect upon years rich in golden memories. 
A history was compiled from the letters of Sarah Burlingame 


Holton and printed in the Jubilee hymn book. It was illustrat- 
ed with pictures of the men and women who had brought the 
Camp through the successful nineties toward a good start for 
the new century. Under beloved Bishop Quayle the meetings 
were fired with a wonderful spirit of kindliness of Christians 
toward each other. These were the camp's best music years 
with the famous Preachers' Quartette, and Charles Gage, 
Thomas Gale, and 0. F. Pugh leading in the evangelism of 

By the time of the Jubilee, the camp had grown from the 
original twenty to thirty-five acres. Walks stretched down 
tree-lined lanes to all parts of the grounds. More than one- 
hundred seventy-five cottages had been erected, ranging from 
impermanent shelters to pretentious home-like dwellings. 
Tents flanked the cottages during the Camp Meeting sessions. 
Many persons now stayed two months instead of the week of 
early years. Three tabernacles had been erected for regular 
services and a young people's tent served the children and the 
Epworth League. Five or six hotels and nearly fifty church 
cottages had accommodations for overnight guests. Three 
restaurants were scattered over the grounds and a grocery 
supplied staples. A barber shop, police station, post office, 
railroad station and baggage office, corrals for horses, and 
parking space for bicycles and an occasional automobile were 

Uneven Beginnings of the Modern Era: But things 
never went too smoothly with Des Plaines Camp Grounds. 
An even-tenored life is monotonous. During the years 
when the bicycles competed with teams, furors over the moral 
issues arose. At last, as the sight of young ladies in baggy 
bloomers with ankles neatly encased in leather tandeming with 
young men became commonplace, the excitement died down and 
Camp life lapsed peacefully into its quiet vein. With the coming 
of the automobiles, though, a different crisis arose. For one 
thing the automobile widened horizons as nothing since the rail- 
road had, and the Sunday crowds for Camp Meeting went chug- 
ging off over the country-side on warm summer days. Even 
people who remained faithful to the meetings could go back 
and forth to the city more readily and huge overnight crowds 
dwindled. Cottages fell into disrepair or remained boarded up 
all summer and many people were convinced that Camp Meet- 
ing days were over. Twice during 1913 and 1914, the Associa- 
tion gathered to vote upon disbanding and twice the motion 
lost by just a few votes. 

The trustees struggled to raise money enough for the 
necessary improvements to bring the crowds back. Plans 
were drawn up for water from Des Plaines, a sewerage system, 


comfort stations, modernization of the dining hall, and elec- 
tricity. Joash boxes, and improvement committees were used 
to raise the necessary funds. At last contracts were let and 
work was under way, when the heavy hand of the World War 
fell upon the country. Red Cross, Y. M. C. A., and Liberty Loan 
drives wiped out the Camp's subscriptions, active workers 
for the Grounds became enmeshed in Draft plans, Food for 
Europe undertakings, and young men were hastened overseas. 
Religion had to come last and a bewildered group of trustees 
struggled under the mounting burden of debt even while the 
improvements were brightening the grounds. At last with 
the War's end under the presidency of R. G. Kimbell, money 
became available and the improvement program went on with 
increasing zeal as the standards demanded became higher and 
higher with the prosperity of the Post- War Era. Magnificent 
programs, children's directors, young people's workers, and 
buildings, clubs, deaconess workers, gardeners, grounds sup- 
erintendents, a new dining hall, a gigantic swimming pool were 
thrown into the breach to stem the outgoing tide. 

On a casual afternoon in 1920, Mrs. Hattie Boone, hotel 
hostess, gathered a group of women in the grove near the 
newly remodeled hotel to help her in repairing the huge Amer- 
ican flag used by the Camp during the War years. The con- 
versation of the circle of ladies was concerned with the prob- 
lem of the debt, the condition of the sheets of the hotel, the 
need for improving the appearance of the Grounds, and who 
might be enlisted to work out these problems. Mrs. Boone 
pointed out that there never was anyone to do all the little 
things which always cropped up. Challenged by the idea, on 
the spot, the Women's Auxiliary was formed with its objec- 
tive, "To help the Trustees and to beautify the Grounds." In 
the critical years that followed, the women of the Auxiliary 
worked side by side with the Trustees to bring back the 
crowds of earlier years. 

Gradually the old-timers laid down their burdens and at 
last in 1930 Wm. S. Verity, the last of the original founders, 
went off to join the rest on that "other shore." 

The season was extended to four and five and sometimes 
six months, but the dark days of the depression came. In 1932 
and 1933 the Camp Grounds settled to a new low point with cot- 
tages everywhere falling into decay and being abandoned. 
But Des Plaines has always had leadership for its darkest mo- 
ments and though it seemed the seventy-fifth anniversary 
could not be faced, let alone celebrated, a determined group of 
women, with a far-sighted woman as their leader, rallied with 
a show of strength that gave the Camp a new lease on life. 


Seventy-Fifth Anniversary and the Beginnings of a New 
Religious Age: In the great memorial pageant and camp 
meeting of 1934, nearly every camper participated and the 
spirit of old Des Plaines fell like a mantle on the shoulders of 
a new generation. Each year since 1934 has seen a more 
beautiful Des Plaines. With the longer season a new mean- 
ing came into the religious life of the campers. Clubs and 
groups of campers of all kinds grew as people sought to 
work together in this new found "Christian fellowship in God's 
great out-of-doors." Here was a retreat to peace and whole- 
some living from a world rotting at its foundations. Here was 
an opportunity to reaffirm one's belief that Christ's way could 
be practiced — a living instead of a talking religion. Slowly 
the people came back and still are coming. Young couples 
needed a refuge in which to rear their children. Youth groups 
came, surprised and indignant that they had not known Des 
Plaines before. All were delighted to know that such a place 
of park-like beauty and tranquillity could exist within the 
shadow of a great city. 

By 1935 the summer session had been lengthened beyond 
the regular Camp Meeting program to cover every weekend 
of the summer season with conferences and special meetings. 
A summer branch of Illinois Wesleyan University was launch- 
ed with five instructors and about a dozen courses. This be- 
came an annual feature of the Camp Grounds for several years. 
In 1936 the camp meeting session under the direction of Rev. 
Phillip T. Bohi lasted a full month. This was the longest 
Camp Meeting program in Des Plaines history. It covered a 
variety of interesting and important topics. 

A modernization program for the dilapidated cottages had 
been started in 1934 and was beginning to show effect. Bright- 
ly painted and conveniently equipped, they set a new stan- 
dard that stimulated the wiiole of the camp to new activity. 
Plumbing, tank gas, electric refrigeration, attractive interior 
decoration made daily living as simple as city life. Outdoors, 
gardens and parks filled in the empty spaces where cottages 
had disappeared in the disastrous years. Under the skilful 
hands of enthusiastic gardeners, color and fragrance were 
spread about until the cottages seemed to reside in a continu- 
ous park. A junior auxiliary of live-wire girls sponsored each 
year a Garden and Flower Show. 

Under the management of the money-wise Women's Aux- 
iliary the hotel was completely modernized with plumbing, 
comfortable beds, brightly decorated rooms, and a cheerful 
lobby and lounge. Local artists were invited to exhibit their 
paintings and the splashes of color lent an attractive air to 


the main rooms. The dining hall under the Auxiliary's direc- 
tion was completely redecorated, a Swedish Coffee Shop added, 
and the kitchen was filled with the delicious odor of home 
cooking and baking. 

Recreational activities were provided for all ages. The 
horseshoe courts were enlarged and improved. Croquet courts 
for ladies and children were constructed. Shuffleboard and 
ping pong in the dining hall occupied cold evenings. The swim- 
ming pool with its attractive blue paint grew in popularity 
throughout the Township as the high rating of the State of- 
ficials assured safety and cleanliness. The Aquatic Club with 
its work for a pool accomplished began a program of tree re- 
placement, as fires, storms, and age took away many of the 
giant trees. Already leafy boughs have stretched shelter and 
shade across the bare spots. 

In 1937 a series of post-season non-religious lectures and 
programs was launched. A variety of intelligent and cultural 
materials was brought each year to the campers by experienced 
lecturers and young artists of the community. 

The addition of a group building to the hotel unit and 
close cooperation between the dining hall, hotel, and pool man- 
agements brought institutes of all denominations to Des 
Plaines for their summer programs. Because of clean, con- 
venient surroundings, the park-like playground, and delicious 
meals, word has been spread around and organizations are 
flocking to the old Grounds again to set their affairs right with 
the Lord. 

In 1938 the second great flood in eighty years came and 
forced a temporary exodus a week before Camp Meeting. As 
the flood waters crept higher, a tiny group of forty refugees 
gathered in the hotel, one of the last dry spots. Slowly the 
ominous waters rose toward them and lapped about the pillars 
supporting them above it. Finally the word came that the 
waters had started their recession to leave a sea of mud and 
heaped disaster. Yet one week later all was scoured and 
clean again and meetings went on, on schedule. The tremen- 
dous effort that bent the backs of every camper to this task 
welded a tightly knit group that found itself in the joy of co- 
operative living. 

With 1940 a fervor not known since Camp Meeting's earl- 
iest years stirred the campers. Preparations for the Eighty- 
first Camp Meeting, the Eightieth Year, the Centennial of 
Rock River Conference, and the first anniversary of the united 
Methodist Church enlisted every camper and brought people 
from every part of the country. Houses were painted, gard- 
ens weeded, pageants rehearsed, and plans carried through. 


With a successful year accomplished, crowds jostling about, 
and parking lots filled with automobiles, campers could pause 
again to take stock of the years. The eighty years seemed 
wonderfully worthwhile. Memories of past times came back 
one after another. Under the beautiful old trees, it seemed 
that all the familiar figures walked about again. The spirit 
of the great past laid a kindly hand upon Des Plaines and 
pointed toward a hundred years. 

In preparing the above material the author is in- 
debted to the newspaper files of the Chicago Tribune, Inter- 
Ocean, Times, Journal, and Daily News, and to the Libraries of 
the Chicago Historical Society and Chicago Tribune, and the 
Newberry Library, and to the history of W. B. Norton in the 
Golden Jubilee Hymn Book, the early minutes of the Board of 
Trustees, and reminiscences of old residents. 


As the newest part of its Youth Program, the Methodist Camp at 
Des Plaines has directed part of its overnight accommodations and leader- 
ship toward the establishment of a Youth Hostel. 

Hosteling is a non-profit, educational means of traveling for young 
and old. Hostelers travel under their own power either by cycling, hiking, 
canoeing, or some other way. The hostel movement was established in 
Europe before the first World War but has been in America only six 
years, with its national headquarters at Northfield, Massachusetts. A clean, 
wholesome form of recreation, hosteling can be carried on in groups or by 
individuals. A hostel furnishes members of the organization with a clean 
comfortable place to sleep and a kitchen where he can prepare his meals. 
Separate sleeping, and bathing accommodations are provided for the boys 
and the girls. Hostelers provided their own sheets in the form of a sleep- 
ing sack. Should a hosteler become ill during his stay at the hostel, the 
house mother cares for him until he is better or his parents come for him. 

Upon arrival at a hostel the hostler turns in his pass, signs the regis- 
ter, pays his fee, shows his sleeping sack, and is assigned his bunk. He pre- 
pares his meal on the cook stove and eats his dinner with other hostlers 
who may be present. After sup] <ev he sits around and chats with the group 
and by ten p. m. is usually asleep. The next morning he arises early, break- 
fasts, and cleans the hostel of every trace of his visit. He then obtains 
his pass from the house mother and starts again on his way. Hostelers 
have a very high code which they have created for themselves, and their 
travels about the country have built character since they develop reliance 
upon self, respect for property, courtesy, and consideration, toward others, 
and a spirit of helpfulness at all times. 

Des Plaines Camp Ground is ideally situated for a hostel. It is within 
an easy cycle ride of Chicago. It also provides the fine spiritual atmosphere 
essential to hosteling. For those unable to take longer than a weekend it 
affords a short and pleasant holiday. Nearly all summer there are religious 


programs in progress that holstelers may attend if they wish. On the 
Grounds is a fine swimming pool and other forms of recreation. Adjoining 
the Grounds are beautiful forest preserves, which border the river. Through 
these the hosteler may cycle, horseback, or hike. If he is a student of 
nature, he will find an abundance of trees, wild flowers, and small wild 
animal life to study. As hostelers may spend three nights at the hostel, 
out of Chicago visitors have a chance to visit the city and return each 
night to the quiet of the country. 

The second season of Des Plaines Youth Hostel has closed and over 
eight hundred names of overnight guests are to be found on the register, 
which is in itself a record. But the houseparents and sponsors are even 
more pleased with the group of splendid, alert, charming young people 
who have visited them. It is a new adventure in Christian fellowship to 
join hands with a movement that is serving the youth of America in so 
fine an undertaking. It is the aim of the Des Plaines Camp Grounds to 
serve youth in every possible way. 


Raymond G. Kimbell, President, Member of Wilmette Church; J. S. 
McClure, vice-president, Berry Memorial Church; George F. Witt, Secre- 
tary-Treasurer, St. John's; William G. Cooper, Euclid Avenue; Rev. Clarence 
H. Diercks, Euclid Avenue; Herbert W. Kirchhoff, Oak Park First; M. E. 
Mickelson, Bethel Norwegian Danish; David J. Leaf, First Swedish; Doug- 
las Cork, West Chicago. 

By Miss Adella Helmershausen 

The first camp meeting was held at Franklin Grove from 
August 31st to September 7th, 1881. This district camp meet- 
ing had been secured by the Reverend Anthony Hasbrouck 
Schoonmaker, pastor of the Franklin Grove Methodist Church 
1879-82. He procured the fine Meneely Bell for this church; 
resided in Franklin Grove in his declining years and died tri- 
umphantly singing, "Let me go where saints are going to the 
mansions of the Blest." He is buried in our cemetery near by 
the camp grounds. 

The Reverend William A. Spencer was our presiding elder 
when we began the camp meeting. W. A. Spencer born Septem- 
ber 6, 1840 Rock Island, Illinois, converted at 7 years ; army 
service Sept. 1861-Aug. 1865; in the ranks 8th Illinois Cavalry 
two years as private and sergeant; two years as chaplain; 
joined Central Illinois Conference 1867 ; Rock River 1875, ap- 
pointments in Central Illinois Conference 1867, Camden Mills 
circuit; 1868 Hale Chapel; 1871 Moline; 1873-74 went with 


Bishop Harris around the world, 1874 Wenona, Rock River 
Conference; 1875 Chicago, State St.,; 1876 Chicago Clark St. 
(as Junior Preacher); 1878 Rockford, Centennial; 1881-1884 
Dixon District; 1885 Chicago, Clark St. (6 weeks) ; Nov. 1885 
Ass't. Corresponding Secretary Board of Church Extension; 
1892 Corresponding Secretary Board of Church Extension. 
Delegate to General Conferences 1884 and 1888. Died Sept. 25, 

Dr. Spencer is especially remembered for his singing "Cast 
Thy Bread Upon the Waters," "My Mother's Beautiful 
Hands," "I shall Be Like Him, Wondrously Like Him," "We're 
Marching to Zion," "Gypsy Boy" and "Marching to Zion." 

Franklin Grove Camp Meeting was descendant of previous 
camps, one held in 1836 at Elkhorn Grove, Carroll County, Il- 
linois ; another at Peter Plantz's Spring, Ogle County, north of 
Franklin Grove in 1837. Elizabeth Ann (Lyons) Roe wrote 
of this camp meeting: 

"That fall, 1837, Brother Isaac Poole was sent to our cir- 
cuit, and he thought there had better be a class formed at our 
house. This was very congenial with our feelings. He preached 
and made an effort, and there were twelve united in a class 
that evening, and John Martin was our class-leader. Many pre- 
cious souls were converted there, and our little class gradually 

The next summer, 1838, Brother Poole thought we would 
have a camp-meeting in the grove. Under those little trees I 
had knelt many times and prayed the Lord that there might 
be a camp-meeting there, as the place was well-fitted for it, 
such excellent water and such a beautiful grove. 

Brother Poole gave out the announcement of the Camp 
meeting all around the circuit. It was then a four-week's cir- 
cuit. He sent the news by letter, and on horse-back, all around 
the circuit and rallied the brethren. He labored intensely, and 
by Friday morning there were the usual tents on the ground, 
and the camp-grounds well arranged, Brother Summers safely 
landed and we had a gracious meeting that night. On Satur- 
day a number of settlers came in, and then we had quite a 
large congregation. Brother Summers preached and prayed 
in the spirit. Brother Lummery was there and gave us some 
of his old-fashioned spiritual preaching. The Spirit of the Lord 
was upon the people. What attention. What religious zeal was 
manifested there. 

The country was over-run by "Black Legs" — a set ^ of 
horse-thieves who were stealing horses and cattle, robbing 
houses, and doing all sorts of mischief ; and many of the people 
feared they would be there and do some mischief. Sabbath 
came and early in the day the "ringleader" of this set was seen 


to walk on the grounds with a number of suspicious looking 
characters with him. They appeared civil. Many of the congre- 
gation were alarmed. After we had been at dinner at our tent 
the "leader" came to me and said they would like to take dinner 
if they could pay for it. As it was Sabbath I could not take 
money but told them they could eat with us, and put money 
on the table for the collection which they did. They lingered 
that evening til the meeting was about closed, and then left 
without doing any harm. 

The meeting commenced at early candle-light. Brother 
Lummery preached in the spirit. Brother Poole exhorted, the 
power of the Lord was in every word, every prayer. What an 
easy access the Child of God had to a throne of grace. Brother 
Poole called for mourners, the altar was soon crowded. They 
were directed to believe on the Lord Jesus. The next morning 
we had a love-feast at the stand. There were quite a number 
who found peace in believing while in the love-feast. 

Forty joined the church. Our camp-meeting closed, and 
from that time we had a continual revival for two years. Our 
class had more than one hundred members. It was a gracious 

The Epworth League 

The Epworth League was a strong feature of the camp- 
meeting from 1889 to 1919. 

The Reverend G. R. Vanhorne, P. E. Dixon District says : 
"Our Epworth chapters are flourishing and doing excellent 
work. They are springs refreshing and life invigorating. 

Our district camp meeting, in finance and spiritual power, 
was a complete success. The district as a whole reports pro- 

The Epworth League is of God. To the church it is de- 
veloping as an arm of strength. Our Epworthians in waiting 
upon God and working for God, have gathered an inspiration 
that has begotten an earnest desire for Christlikeness of char- 
acter; and the truth has dawned upon them. 

"That in a boundless universe, 

Is boundless better, boundless worse." 

And they have bound themselves in covenant relations to 
walk in the King's Highway which leads the soul into the 
"boundless better." 

There are within our District, 40 organized chapters with 
a membership of 1,750. There are also 20 Junior Leagues, with 
836 members. These chapters have, during the year, raised 
$1,300 to promote church work. And as a proof that they are 
alive to the interest of human souls, 148 conversions have oc- 
curred this year through the efforts of these consecrated 


young people. There are 532 copies of the "Epworth Herald" 

Two League Conventions have been held during the year. 
The first at Princeton and the second at Oregon. The papers 
read and the addresses delivered were of a high order and some 
of them were secured for publication in the local papers and in 
our religious periodicals. One chapter of the District has 22 
members who are capable of leading and have lead public meet- 
ings with marked acceptability. This is but a type of Epworth- 


By Adella Helmerhausen, Secretary. Dixon District Epworth League. 

Blue sky and English sun and mist, 
Broad lands and meadows hedged with green, 

An old, wide tower by breezes kissed 
A higher steeple half unseen, 

A vast expanse of sky and light 

All beautiful and warm and bright, 

A benediction resting down 

Above the fair, white country town 
Of Epworth. 

The winds the primrose dangles leave 

To ripple o'er the flowing Don, 
Where Humber boatmen chant at eve, 

The Kiel song far the water on. 
And Humber's tide runs full and free 
To swell the music of the sea. 
Thus floats afar on vibrant air 
The influence of trust and prayer 
Of Epworth. 

Sweet vale of pleasant Lincolnshire 

Amid the placid waterways! 
The new world lifts its altars here 

To worship at thy shrine of praise. 
They vestal garments surplice all. 
They fragrant incense burns to fall 
On holy heart and bended brow, 
And thine the temple holy now, 
Of Epworth. 

There lingers in the evening air 

The prophecy of Oxford power, 
Of City Road and Bristol fair. 

Of the anointing oil and hour, 
Of Methodism come to men 
In pentecostal power again, 
And dear to pilgrim heart, and sweet, 
The echoes which the years repeat 
Of Epworth. 


The Epworth road, yet leadeth down 

An Eramaus walk to countless feet; 
The dear old English country town 

Is Bethany where still we meet. 
For us the paths the Wesleys trod 
The fellowship of Christ in God, 
The consecration and the praise 
That filled and thrilled the hallowed days 
Of Epworth. 


The heralds of the gospel blest, 

Ascend the pulpit stair, 
The golden carillon rechimes 

Its carol on the air, 
And humble, churchly, neighbor-folk 

Are bowed in holy prayer 
The Lady Beautiful with them 

Enrapt in worship there. 


The magistrates of law august 

Sit at the Council Board 
A battle of the shining wits 

In argument is scored, 
"Can we for paltry gain or tax 

The Liquor Curse afford?" 
Thus speaks the Lady Beautiful, 

A priestess fair, adored. 


The dregs of men debauched and doomed, 

Die in the darkened street, 
The drunkard staggers slowly past, 

The snow his winding sheet, 
While frenzied dance-halls flash and flame 

Their jazz to tempted feet, 
The Lady Beautiful draws near 

In pity to entreat. 


The lords and delegates today 

Upon Earth's forums wide, 
Are legislating for the Right, 

That Might be sanctified, 
That Faith with Freedom may prevail, 

That Hope with Love abide, 
The Lady Beautiful their Star, 

Her shining Torch, their Guide. 

— By Adella Helmershausen 


One Day's Program 
W. C. T. U. at the Camp Ground Sunday 

The day proved to be all that one could wish, delightfully 
pleasant. By ten o'clock a fine audience had assembled and 
greeted the members of the Juvenile Templars and Junior 
League, as they marched on the ground to music. Miss Alice 
Helmershausen presided at the organ, and little Ruby 
Schmucker acted as President. After a song by four girls, 
Miss Leona Canterbury in a clear, eloquent, earnest manner 
delivered a recitation full of thought and advice emanating 
from those that have died through the effects of alcohol. Reci- 
tations were given by Arthur Smith, Mary Hewitt, Clytie Roe, 
Walter Newcomer, Zella Graff, Sidney Jones, Minnetta Roe 
and Louie Leedham, Elsie Lott, Harry Lincoln and Ella Jacob- 
son, each sang a beautiful song very nicely. Laura Group and 
Rubie Schmucker gave instrumental selections. One of the 
pleasant features was a "Bell Song" by ten girls. Three little 
boys, Frank Crawford, Willie McGuire, Frank Yingling, 
pleased the audience very much in a neat short recitation. All 
the little folks acquitted themselves well. Their recitations 
and songs were carefully prepared, and each one knew his part 
and spoke his piece distinctly so that the audience heard them 

The speaker of the forenoon was Mrs. Louisa Rounds, 
state president, and we have never been permitted to listen 
to a more forcible, earnest sermon on Character Building than 
she delivered. Her strong earnest voice with its clear ring and 
thorough enunciation carried every word to the ears of her 
vast audience of probably a thousand people. Many of them 
we trust to go to their homes resolved to lead a clearer and 
purer life. 

Miss Mary Mahan of Moline, assistant state evangelist, 
spoke in the afternoon to the young people. Her topic was 
Personal Purity. While her voice could not be heard by all her 
audience, yet those within her reach listened to the sweet 
words of counsel, entreaty, and advice of one, young in years, 
thoroughly in earnest, and must have imbibed from her forc- 
ible words a desire to be better, purer, and holier in life. 

The singing of the day was furnished by choirs from Am- 
boy, Ashton and Franklin Grove. A pleasant feature of the 
afternoon was the song by little girls in charge of Miss Wicker. 

Mrs. Rounds gave a temperance address in the evening 
which was listened to by a very large audience. May many 
of her stirring words bear fruit in temperance thought and 
action in the near future. 


Frances Willard at Camp Meeting 

One of the high spots of the Franklin Grove Camp Meet- 
ing was the visit of Miss Frances Willard of W. C. T. U. fame, 
where she spoke to 5,000 people. Those of us who were 
privileged to meet and hear her will carry off a memory of her 
through our days, and maybe through all eternity — God bless 
her beautiful name. 

July 14-July 24, 1910 

Thursday, July 14 — Opening Day 

2:30 P. M— Grand Army Service with Flag Raising. All old soldiers in- 
vited and welcome. Special sermon. Mrs. Cecilia Gondret will sing. 
7:30 P. M— Key Note Service. Rev. Henri F. Gondret, Evangelist will 
preach. Special music. 

Friday, July 15 

2:30 P. M. — Annual Meeting of the Woman's Home Missionary Society. Dr. 

Frederick H. Wright, New York City, will speak. 

Saturday, July 16 

2:30 P. M. — Annual Meeting of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society. 

Miss Dorothy Jones, China, will speak. 

Thursday, July 21 

2:30 P. M— District Rally of Leaguers. Dr. Christian F. Reisner, Prognos- 

ticator. Chicago Preachers' Quartette will sing. 

Friday, July 22 

2:30 P. M. — Methodist Men. Addresses by Laymen. Chicago Preachers' 

Quartette will sing. 

Saturday, July 23 
2:30 P. M— Of Special Interest to Workers. Dr. Reisner will speak. Chi- 
cago Preachers' Quartette will sing. 

The Two Sundays, July 17th and 24th 

10:30 A. M. — July 17 — Rev. B. Barrett Evans, pastor of Princeton church, 
will preach. 

2:30 and 7:30 P. M— Rev. Henri F. Gondret, Preacher. 

10:30 A. M— July 24— Dr. M. E. Cady, pastor Earlville church, will preach. 

2:30 J. M.— Bishop W. S. Lewis of China, will preach. 

7:30 P. M— Evangelist Gondret will preach. The Chicago Preachers' Quar- 
tette will sing. 


8:00 A. M. — Camp Devotions in the Tabernacle. A half hour of Praise and 
Prayer. Leader, Claude S. Moore. 

9:00 A. M— Sunday School Institute, conducted by Dr. Christian F. Reis- 
ner, New York City. 

9:00 A. M. — Kindergarten in charge of Miss Mattie Tullis. 

10:00 A. M.— Scriptural Studies. 

1:25 P. M.— Ministers' Round Table led by Dr. C. F. Reisner and others. 

1:30 P. M— Junior League, in charge of Mrs. A. Hunt. 

2:30 P. M. — Preaching and Anniversary Services. 

4:00 P. M.— Recreation. 


6:45 P. M— Epworth League Institunte, in charge of Rev. John E. Fluck 

and Dr. Reisner. 
7:45 P. M— Evangelistic Services. Evangelist F. Gondret will preach. Mrs. 

Cecilia Gondret, his mother, will sing. 

Great Musical Program 

Believing in the power of music we have sought to bring to the camp 
several special helpers. We are sure this will please you and help you as 

Rev. Frank Briggs will train the Junior choir. He will do it well. We 
remember the good done by this company of young singers last year. We 
look for better things this year. 

Mrs. Cecilia Gondret, soloist and sometime member of the Royal Opera 
of Stockholm, Sweden, will be present throughout the ten days. She is the 
soloist for her son and will sing every night. She will also sing on special 
days and at various services. 

The Chicago Preachers' Quartette will be with us the last four days. 
Beginning Thursday the 21st and closing Sunday the 24th. More popular 
than ever. They are in great demand. We are very fortunate in securing 
them for so long a time. Bring out all the folks to hear them sing Zion's 

Miss Flora Wicker will preside at the piano. 

On Sunday, July 17th, Mr. A. W. Rosecrans, of Ashton will teach the 
Sunday School lesson at 1 P. M. 

These ministers and Presiding Elders served as a Recep- 
tion Committee to meet campers and make them welcome, 

1881, A. H. Schoonmaker; 1882-3, P. C. Stire; 1885-6, Geo. 
L. S. Stuff; 1887, Miles W. Satterfield; 1888-9, Geo. M. Bassett; 
1890-94, Myron L. Norris; 1895-98, Ernest W. O'Neal; 1899, 
Wm. B. Slaughter; 1900-2, I. E. Honeywell; 1903-06, J. R. 
Hamilton; 1907, Fred L. Baldwin; 1908, W. J. Abel; 1909, L. 
P. Warrington; 1910, Wm. K. Loufbourrow; 1911-12, A. E. 
Simister; 1913-14, A. E. Ulrich; 1915-17, F. A. Graham; 1918, 
Warren E. Kern. 

Presiding Elders: 1881-4, W. A. Spencer; 1885-8, L. E. 
Curts; 1889-94, G. R. Vanhorne; 1895-1900, G. C. Clark; 1901- 
05, A. T. Horn; 1906, A. D. Traveller; 1917-12, C. S. Moore; 
1913-1918, J. M. Phelps. 

Memories of Our Franklin Grove Camp Meetings 

By Callie B. Morgan, Dixon, 111. 

The Bulletin of 1919 was the last one issued; and E. C. 
Lumsden preached the last sermon Sunday evening, July 13, 

Evangelists : We had two evangelists who did great good. 
They were Thomas Harrison "the Boy Preacher" and Amanda 
Smith, a colored preacher. One sermon of the latter's was 
from Psalm 139 :23 "Search Me, O God." One of her sayings 
was, "I do not want anybody to pity me because I am black." 


Other evangelists were D. W. Potter and his singer E. F. Mil- 
ler who were present 1887 and 1906; Elwood J. Bulgin, the 
southern preacher in 1901. His sermon on the Prodigal Son's 
Father was a great message. Henry Ostrom 1903, and Myron 
Taylor 1916 were worthy messengers of God. 

Pioneer Preachers: The two pioneer preachers the Rev. 
Barton Cartwight, and the Rev. A. H. Schoonmaker are very 
vivid in my mental picture of the beginning of the camp-meet- 
meeting. Brother Schoonmaker's biographer says "Cherry 
Valley and Franklin Grove camp-grounds were largely due to 
his perseverance and energy. His clarion voice could be 
heard in song or exhortation long before the encampment 
could be seen. He was the first superintendent of the camp- 
meeting and he put in weeks of hard work prior to the opening 
each summer. He located in Franklin Grove in 1890 as Bible 
Agent; died in 1895, so for fourteen years he was a great 
power in the camp-meeting. 

Who that ever heard them shout could ever forget Grand- 
ma Bradstreet, Mother Roe and Mother Swartz as their glad 
Hallelujahs rang out through the camp ! Also "Happy Harry 
Hostetter's "Amen" and "Praise the Lord's" made us all 

The Rev. W. A. Spencer was P. E. 188- 1885. I can see 
him at the organ playing and singing with so much expression 
"My Mother's Beautiful Hands;" and Chaplain C. C. McCabe 
with his powerful voice singing his famous song "We're Build- 
ing Two A Day," when he was Church Extension Secretary. 

The closing scene on the last night during Elder Spen- 
cer's term, was another great experience, as the people joined 
hands around the Tabernacle, singing, with Brother Spencer 
at the organ, and leading the song. His favorites were 
"We're Marching to Zion," "Is My Name Written There?" 
"I'm A Child Of A King." 

On July 16, 1908 Bishop Quayle preached two remark- 
able sermons, in the afternoon and evening. In the afternoon 
we experienced a terrific storm. Thunder, lightning, wind, 
and a downpour of rain, so it was with some difficulty that we 
could hear him. I presume he chose purposely Matt. 7:25-27 
for his text. "And the rains descended; and the floods came, 
etc." and it certainly was realistic. Fortunately we were in 
the new tabernacle and the roof did not leak as the old one, 
but I think some water came down the hill under the seats. 
His evening text was "I that speak unto thee, am He" — "the 
woman then left her water-pot." 

Among the host of ministers who preached at Franklin 
Grove Campmeeting I recall these bishops: Thoburn, Oldham, 
McDowell, Wilson, Stuntz, Lewi? and Nicholson. 


Memory of Camp-Meeting 

By Mrs. Clara Preston Rowe, Dixon, 111. 
The camp-meetings were all a great blessing to me. The 
meetings held in Hitchcock Chapel were full of inspiration, 
especially the early morning prayer-meeting. One special ad- 
dress on missions by Harvey Reeves Calkins stands out most 
vividly in my memory. Then, there was the singing, espec- 
ially the Preachers' Quartette. The fellowship of and asso- 
ciation with other Christians left a lasting impression. I sigh 
for the good old days. 


By Rev. C. C. Hartung 

The year 1941 marked the seventy-first anniversary of the 
opening of the campmeeting at Lena which is still serving 
several thousand Methodist people in the northwestern corner 
of the state of Illinois. On August 27, 1870, thirty years almost 
to the very day after the organization of Rock River Confer- 
ence, the Lena campmeeting opened its first session. Since that 
time not a year has been missed, and of this fact the Lena 
campmeeting association is very proud. At first the campmeet- 
ings were more or less local affairs, with residents of Lena and 
the immediate community providing the bulk of attendance. 
Speakers in the early days were preachers and exhorters in 
the locality. Big names were not important then. Just the ad- 
vertisement that a campmeeting was to be held was enough to 
bring out the people. Rev. F. A. Reade, who was the presiding 
elder in 1870, and Rev. F. Curtiss, the pastor of the Lena Cir- 
cuit, were largely responsible for the opening of the campmeet- 
ing. Acquiring a lot situated on what is now State Highway 
73, these leaders erected a large tent and began their meetings. 
It was not until 1881 that a campmeeting association was 
formally organized. In that year also, thirteen acres of land 
were purchased in the approximate location of the present 

After the acquisition of a grove, people began to attend 
campmeeting in larger numbers, many of them bringing their 
tents and other camping equipment with them to remain 
throughout the week or ten days' session. In fair weather the 
meetings were held outdoors, and pulpits made from the 
stumps of large trees were scattered about for the preachers 
to stand on. Often several meetings would be going on at the 
same time. One of these pulpit-stumps is still in place near 
the entrance to the grounds. 


By 1897 the campmeeting had become such a popular 
thing that a tabernacle was erected with a seating capacity of 
2000 people, and additional land adjoining was purchased, 
bringing the total area to slightly over 20 acres, the present 
size of the grounds. Plans were made to permit people who 
wished to build permanent cottages and cabins, the ownership 
of these cottages to revert to the campmeeting association 
when the builders were through using them. A large stable was 
erected and a kind of stockade built around the grounds for 
protection from vandals at night. 

The popularity of campmeetings throughout the nation 
was gaining rapidly, and for thirty years following the turn 
of the century, literally thousands of persons found their way 
to Lena each summer. It was known then as the Freeport Dis- 
trict Campmeeting and retained this name until the merger of 
Freeport District with Rockford District, when the name Lena 
Campmeeting was adopted. Old-timers love to reminisce of the 
days when as many as ten thousand people would be found on 
the grounds over a Sunday. A perusal of the records shows that 
strict regulations were in force on the Sabbath day. For a 
time the gates of the grounds were kept locked on Sunday, 
and those who wished to attend Sunday meetings had to be 
inside by Saturday evening. The world and its affairs were 
literally shut out. Such was the popularity of the campmeet- 
ing that the Illinois Central Railroad ran special trains from 
Freeport and Galena, and old train schedules show that as 
high as six campmeeting specials came to Lena on certain days. 
For a limited time, however, these trains were not permitted 
to operate on Sunday. 

During the never-to-be forgotten Chautauqua area, re- 
gular Chautauqua programs ran in conjunction with the 
campmeeting and during this time large sums of money were 
spent each year on programs. In the early 1920's, even though 
the popularity of such programs had not yet waned, this prac- 
tice was stopped because of the belief that they disrupted the 
religious atmosphere of the meetings. 

In 1921 an Epworth League Institute was organized by 
Charles K. Carpenter, then district superintendent, and this 
Institute still operates for the young people of the western end 
of Rockford District during the same week as the campmeet- 
ing. Though the Institute has never been large there has never 
been any suggestion of its discontinuance, for it serves a group 
of youth who would not be able to travel the distance required 
to attend other Rock River Conference Institutes. 

Today the character of the Lena Campmeeting has 
changed considerably. Quick and easy transportation facilities 


have reduced the number of adults staying on the grounds for 
the full period to a very few, and the day-time programs are 
now in complete charge of the Young People's Institute and the 
Woman's Institute. The evening services, however, are well at- 
tended, and Sunday meetings find the tabernacle well-filled. 
At present the association, with William Arnsmeier, a layman 
who lives at Davis, as its president, operates a ten day camp- 
meeting during July or the early part of August. Where hun- 
dreds of other campmeetings throughout the nation have had 
to close their gates in recent years, Lena has kept going and is 
operating free of debt. 

The spirit of the 1941 session approached the under-lying 
spirit of the old days. No longer is the intense emotionalism of 
the older days displayed, and no longer does the grove echo 
with resounding Amen's, but this is no indication of a lack of 
religious fervor. The 1941 speakers, John Holland, R. L. Se- 
mans, C. C. Hartung, T. S. Potter, J. R. Uhlinger and A. D. 
Klontz, produced a deep awareness of the religious needs of 
the world, and it is this that is to be sought after at such 
meetings as are held each summer at the campmeeting at Lena. 


The Berger Methodist Camp Ground is located on 147th 
Street, now called Sibley Road, near Greenwood Ave., 2 miles 
east of Halsted Street. This Camp ground consists of ten 
acres of land, and was bought in the year 1884. The neigh- 
borhood was called Sand Ridge. A Campground association 
was organized and incorporated under the name 'The Camp 
Meeting Association of the Chicago District of the Chicago 
German Conference in the Methodist Episcopal Church." The 
Presiding Elder, Rev. George L. Mulnnger was the first presi- 
dent, and Samuel Wuest, the secretary. For a number of years 
camp meetings had been held in a grove near New Brennen, 
now called Tinley Park, and in Diekmann's Grove near the 
present camp ground. 

Members of the Methodist Church could lease a lot for the 
price of $25.00 and were permitted to set up a tent for the 
time of the Camp meeting or build a cottage on their lot ; the 
ground cost $1500.00. 

The first trustees were Rev. G. L. Mulfinger, Rev. J. J. 
Keller, Rev. Wm. Haas, Henry Rieke, A. Thies, John Berger, 
V. Rudolph, D. Bakenhus, and S. Wuest. At that time the Chi- 
cago German District consisted of 13 churches in the city of 
Chicago and churches in Arlington Heights, Aurora, Blue 
Island, Champaign, Crown Point, Cedar Lake, Danville, Elgin, 


Frankfort, Hammond, LaPorte, Melvin, Michigan City, South 
Bend, Sand Ridge, Tinley Park. 

As soon as enough money could be raised a suitable tab- 
ernacle was built with wooden floor and comfortable seats. A 
hotel, and home for the caretaker, soon followed. Some of the 
congregations and church families built cottages and soon a 
small village of about 50 cottages surrounded the tabernacle 
and made an ideal campground. The Pennsylvnia Railroad 
Company built a small depot with platform near this Camp- 
ground and called it Berger Station, in honor of the German 
Methodist Berger family. This Railroad Company printed 
special tickets at reduced rates during the Berger Camp meet- 
ing and we had from two to six extra cars for Berger on Sat- 
urdays and Sundays during camp meeting time and we could 
see hundreds of people parade from the trains to the camp 
ground and crowd the spacious tabernacle and cottages. Those 
were the days of camp meetings and real revivals, of prayer 
meetings and lovef easts; all the sermons were evangelistic, 
and we did not have to advertise them as such. The old Ger- 
man hymns would ring out as we shall never hear them again 
in America. 

All expenses would be paid from the free will offering 
taken up on Sunday, no debt rested on this camp ground for 
over 50 years. Sunday School, Epworth League and Mission- 
ary Conventions were held here. Finally we too became mod- 
ern. City water, gas, electricity and sewers came to the camp- 

In 1933, the German conferences merged with the Mother 
conferences and some changes came. This writer served dur- 
ing the last 30 years the camp meeting association as Secre- 
tary and President. He has great hopes for the future and 
prays that the Southern District of this conference make use 
of this campground and make it a blessing for the future gen- 



By A. C. Crawford 

Way back when camp meetings were "camp" meetings the 
towns' folk and farmers, from many miles surrounding New 
Lenox, packed food, bedding and utensils on hayracks, box 
wagons and democrats and over dusty roads wended their way 
each year in mid August towards the Centenary Camp 
Grounds at New Lenox, Illinois. 


The camp, consisting of twenty acres in a beautiful grove, 
is situated thirty-four miles South West of Chicago and six 
miles East of Joliet. The Presiding Elders of the Joliet and 
Chicago Southern Districts were the superintendents of the 

The first session was held in 1867. The sessions lasted 
from ten days to two weeks. The daily program consisted of 
Prayer Meeting at 6:00 A. M.; Bible Reading at 8:45; Preach- 
ing 10:30; Children's meeting at 1:15; Preaching 2:30; Cot- 
tage Prayer Meeting 4:00; Young Peoples' Meeting 6:30; 
Preaching 7 :30 ; and Gates closed at 9 :30 P. M. In the eighties 
the daily attendance averaged around one thousand and on 
Sundays, with all nearby Methodist Churches closed, more than 
five thousand persons visited the grounds. "Many who came 
to scoff, remained to pray." 

Two statements from the list of "Regulations" will indi- 
cate the attitude of the founders of the Camp Meeting re- 
garding the conduct of the campers. 

1. "The area within the public square is designed ex- 
clusively for religious services, and all promanading, conver- 
sation, smoking and other conduct which would be improper in 
a church edifice, is prohibited within the area." 

2. "During the regular hours for worship, all business 
must be suspended, and all persons not necessarily prevented 
by other duties, are expected to be in the audience." 

In those early days mosquito smudge fires were built upon 
elevated platforms. No decision was ever reached as to which 
was the greater pest — the smoke or the mosquitoes. 

For many families the camp meeting was the outstanding 
social event of the early Autumn. Lasting friendships were 
formed by both young and old during those camping days. 

John Crawford, father of William H. and Edward B. who 
were members of Rock River Conference, was a charter mem- 
ber of the Board of Trustees and was its secretary from the 
date of organization until 1890 when he became President 
which office he held for many years. His wife was granted 
the first choice of a lot on the grounds and she selected the one 
adjoining the preacher's cottage and speaker's stand. 

Otis Hardy of Ottawa Street Church, Joliet, was another 
charter member of the Board. A. Allen Francis of New 
Lenox was elected a trustee in 1870 and in 1883 was made 
Treasurer and Superintendent of the Grounds. Many im- 
provements were due to his thought and work. 

Rev. Stephen R. Beggs and Rev. Hooper Crews were 
among the ministers at that first meeting and Rev. Beggs was 
a regular in attendance until his death in 1895. 


The certificate of the organization of the Centenary 
Campmeeting association is duly recorded in Will County 
Records held in Court House of Joliet, 111. Organization date 
— Nov. 9, 1867. Chairman of meeting — Rev. W. T. Stewart 
Presiding Elder of Joliet District. First Trustees elected as 
follows : 

Otis Hardy of Joliet, Abel Bliss of New Lenox, John Craw- 
ford of Wilton, Harvey Evans of Plainfield, Elijah L. Bray ton 
of Blue Island, Russell Segar of Yellow Head, Joseph Lewis of 
Channahaan, John S. Jessup of Wilmington, John S. McGrath 
of Lisbon. 

Warranty Deed is dated Sept. 15, 1869, and recorded 
Sept. 22, 1869. Grounds contain 21 26-100 acres more or less — 
"To have and to hold the same in trust for the Centenary 
Campmeeting association of the Joliet District of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church incorporated by the act of the Legis- 
lature of State of Illinois in force from and after April 15, 1869. 

By Rev. Albert Bauman 

The old Camp meetings at New Lenox continued to be a 
great success for over 50 years. However, the time did come 
when conditions changed greatly. The attendance decreased 
from year to year, and finally became so very small that the 
Campmeeting Association voted to discontinue the Camp- 
meetings. Then it was, that the Young People of the Joilet 
half of the Joliet-Dixon District came to the rescue and saved 
the Grounds for the church. They leased the Camp Grounds 
from the Campmeeting association for the use of the Epworth 
Leagues of the Joliet Group of Churches, and held an Epworth 
League Institute on the Grounds in 1922. 

Ever since that year, for 18 years now, there has been 
an Institute for the Leaguers in the old Centenary Camp 
Grounds of New Lenox. Four years ago the Dixon half of the 
Joliet Dixon District sent its Leaguers to this Institute also, 
since the Franklin Grove Institute had been discontinued. 
From that time on the Young People of the Leagues of the 
entire District have frequented the New Lenox Institute. 

An Institute Grounds committee, made up of represen- 
tatives from the Joliet Group of Churches now has full charge 
of the Grounds. The old Tabernacle of the Campmeeting 
days has been torn down, and the assembly periods of the In- 
stitute and the evening programs are held under a canopy of 
beautiful maple trees. All the classes of the Institutes too, are 
held out in the open. The Grounds Committee has greatly im- 
proved the equipment of the Camp grounds. Some years ago 
a commodious Dining Hall was built. Since that time most of 
the cottages held by individual owners have been acquired, 


and many of them repaired. A modern water system, a new 
lighting system, a sanitary system, and showers have been 
installed. The old indebtedness of almost $3000 has been re- 
duced to $600. A new day has dawned for the old New Lenox 
Camp Grounds. 

The New Lenox Institute of the Joliet-Dixon District is 
one of the most successful Institutes of the Epworth Leagues 
of the Rock River Conference. The enrollment for the past 
two years has reached nearly 300 students. This Institute has 
become one of the important factors in the experience of the 
Young people of the churches of the Joliet-Dixon District. 

Diamond Jubilee 

The Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Centenary Camp- 
meeting was celebrated on the Grounds at New Lenox on Sun- 
day, July 27, 1941. Homer Rodeheaver led the Song Service 
and Bishop James H. Straughn of Pittsburgh was the preacher. 
The Jubilee Historical Pageant, written by Miriam Luecke 
Angus, was presented in the evening. 


Collocated by the commission on Institutes of the Board of 
Education of the Rock River Conference — 

PAUL W. GRIMES, Chairman 


(First Epworth League Institute organized in the 
Methodist Church) 

The first Epworth League Institute, under the manage- 
ment of the Central Office, was held at the Des Plaines Camp 
Ground in Chicago in the summer of 1906. Because the Camp 
Ground folk did not like the levity of the young people the Insti- 
tute for 1907 met at Conference Point on Lake Geneva, Wiscon- 
sin. Dr. Edwin H. Randall, former general secretary, and Miss 
Emma A. Robinson, of the Central Office, were among the 
first leaders. These leaders sought for a plan that would com- 
bine the spiritual, educational and recreation; that would 
build Christian character, train for leadership and lead to life 

The leadership of the first Institute will be of interest; 
Dr. Thomas Nicholson, later Bishop Nicholson, Morning 
Watch; Prof. F. C. Eiselen, Bible study; Dr. Christian F. Reis- 
ner, recreation; Miss Isabelle Horton, noted deaconess of Chi- 


cago; L. Wilbur Messer, general secretary of the Chicago Y. M. 
C. A. and Dr. P. A. Baker, head of the Anti-Saloon League. 

The story of the Lake Geneva Institute cannot be told 
without the names of Mr. Irving Kelly, Dr. Dan B. Brummitt, 
Dr. W. E. J. Gratz, Dr. H. Clifford Northcott, Mr. Gordon 
Humphrey and Mr. John L. Horsley, who for sixteen years was 
the promotion manager, not only of the Chicago week, but also 
of the Southern Wisconsin week. The list of Deans through the 
past twenty years includes the names of Dr. Ernest C. Waring, 
Dr. "Daddy" Logan, Dr. C. Claud Travis, Dr. Fred D. Stone, 
Dr. C. A. Bloomquist, Dr. Harold C. Case, Dr. Morgan Williams, 
Rev. Ray Honeywell, Rev. Paul Bloomquist and Rev. John L. 

Each summer for more than thirty years hundreds of our 
Methodist youth have gathered on this hallowed ground amid 
nature's' superlative beauty where, guided by chosen leaders of 
youth, they have attained to new stature in spiritual growth. 

The transformations in the conduct of the Institute at 
Conference Point have been almost unbelievable. Less arduous 
discipline and increasing freedom of judgment and decision 
have come naturally. The instituters have passed from a rigidly 
superintended routine of the old school-teacher type to the 
larger liberty of a student directed and controlled Camp. Here 
is successfully conducted the giant experiment of living to- 
gether in community life, an inter-racial brotherhood, all being 
part and parcel of the larger purpose of Christian living, where 
the leaders lead and advise with, but no longer superintend. 

No one can begin to estimate how large and far-reaching 
has been the influence of Geneva in the life of the Church here 
and everywhere. Instituters of the yesterdays are found in all 
phases of lay-work, in our pulpits at home and serving "unto 
the uttermost parts." 


A group of 30 young people banded together for Christian 
training on the Des Plaines Camp Grounds in 1928 and formed 
the first Hi-League Institute. Activities of this camp for girls 
and boys of adolescent age were under the leadership of 
Rev. Charles Draper, dean, and William J. Laskey, president. 

It was an enthusiastic, growing group which has steadily 
increased in numbers, reaching a peak attendance of 450 in 
1940. Because of the enlarged enrollment the 1941 Camp will 
be divided into two sections. 


In 1933, the Camp was transferred to Lake Geneva where 
it has been held every summer since. 

The leadership of the group has been handed on succes- 
sively to: Rev. Milton D. Bayly, dean, and Raymond C. Ellis, 
president; Rev. Paul Grimes, dean; and William J. Laskey, 
president; and in 1940-1, Rev. Clarence Diercks, dean and, Roy 
Krueger, president. 

In addition, the support of many other assistants through- 
out the years has helped make this project of promoting the 
Christian way of living, one of the most successful and worth 
while efforts carried on within the Methodist Church. 


The New Lenox Institute began its work in 1922. This 
was the year after the Camp meetings, held on the Old Camp 
Ground near New Lenox, Illinois for over thirty years, had 
been discontinued. 

A Grounds Committee representing the Leagues of the 
Joliet Group of the Joliet-Dixon District now holds a long time 
lease on the Camp Ground. This committee has done much to 
improve the Camp through the years. A new dining hall was 
built, most of the cottages belonging to former Camp meeting 
attendants, have been purchased and repaired, a new electric 
light system, a new water system, a new sanitary system, have 
been installed, and in many other ways the Old Camp ground 
has been made a very attractive place to hold the annual Insti- 
tute for the Young People. 

Since the Franklin Grove Institute on the Dixon half of 
the District, was discontinued four years ago, the Youth of 
the entire District now frequent the Institute at New Lenox. 
Of course, this means a much larger and better institute at 
New Lenox. 

An Institute Committee representing the churches of the 
entire Joliet-Dixon District selects the Leaders for the Insti- 
tute year after year. Among those who have served as Deans 
during the years are the following: the Rev. Quincy Wright, 
the Rev. Edward G. Schutz, the Rev. Henry Rompel, the Rev. 
A. C. Nesmith, the Rev. Charles Draper, the Rev. Albert Bau- 

The New Lenox Institute has become a big factor in the 
life of the Young People of the Churches of the Joliet-Dixon 
District, of the Methodist Church. The student enrollment in 
1940 reached nearly 300 composed of High School and College 
age youth. 



The Rockford District Epworth League under the leader- 
ship of John W. Bruce of Freeport and Donald A. Tripp of Bel- 
videre, district presidents successively in 1923 and 1924, began 
two very small Epworth League Institutes at Camp Lena and 
Camp Epworth, Illinois camp grounds. These institutes were 
sponsored by Dr. C. K. Carpenter, former district superintend- 
ent, (now retired), who made it possible for the Leagues to 
organize and conduct these Institutes on the camp meeting 

They first began as three-day institutes as part of the camp 
meeting weeks and later were extended to a full week in con- 
junction with the camp meetings, and still later when camp 
meetings fell off they proved the sole drawing card for the 
young people of the district. 

It was under Dean Quincy R. Wright, then of Rockford, 
now district superintendent at Kirkwood, Missouri, that the 
institutes received their initial impetus, and we have the 
largest number of young people. Successive deans, managers, 
and district superintendents have carried on to make these 
two small institutes a power among the young people of Rock- 
ford district communities. The Reverend W. C. Rasche Jr. is 
now Dean, and Charles Kuntz is Camp Manager of Camp Ep- 


Camp meetings have been held on the Methodist Camp 
Ground at Lena, Illinois, for seventy years, and during the 
later decades "children's work, on the institute idea" was car- 
ried forward in an agreeable and effective manner. For the last 
fourteen years, a regularly credited institute has been conduc- 
ted, usually offering courses for Intermediates, Seniors, and 
Young People. The first of these institutes was conducted in 
1926 with Harry C. Brown as dean. Other deans have been: 
Roy Crocker, Churley Bloomquist, Royal Synwolt, Lester Stan- 
ton, and Herbert Chenoweth. Attendance of registered full- 
time instituters has ranged from 70 to 250, the latter number 
being attained only when Camp Epworth was not in use. Dedi- 
cation to Christian life work has always been a feature of this 
institute, and more than a score of ministers, ministers' wives, 
and missionaries have made their life work decisions on these 
beautifully wooded grounds at Lena. At the 1940 institute, 
there were four young candidates for the Christian ministry, 
and one prospective Y. M. C. A. secretary. 



Formerly William Nast Epworth League Institute 

The William Nast Epworth League Institute was organized 
in 1922 at the Old German Camp Grounds near Dolton, 111., 
under the supervision and direction of Dr. Adam J. Loeppert. 
The Institute was named after the Founder of German Meth- 
odism in America, Dr. William Nast. From the beginning it was 
conducted in the English Language. The Rev. Fred H. Koeh- 
nemann of South Bend, Indiana was the first dean. The terri- 
tory comprised the churches of the Chicago German District, 
and sometimes the registrations reached as high as 325 in 
number. This institute was dissolved at the time of the merger 
in 1933 of the Chicago Northwest Conference with six contig- 
uous English speaking conferences. The Institute went forward 
under its old name for five or six years under the direction of 
Chicago Southern District Leadership. Berger Hi League Camp 
sprang out of this group and was organized in 1939. The pres- 
ent officers are : J. Hopkins Kleihauer, President ; Lucile A. Pil- 
grim, Secretary-Treasurer; E. Lester Stanton, Dean; Frank 
T. Palm, Manager. 


The Berger Junior Camp was organized in the summer of 
1937 to provide a Christian Camping experience for boys and 
girls of the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. The Camp, which 
now has completed its third summer, has the distinction of 
being the first Camp for junior boys and girls in the Methodist 
Church. The records show, however, that there are more 
camps under non-religious auspices for this age group than any 

The Commission on Children's Work of the Rock River Con- 
ference Board of Education has taken over this camp as a pro- 
ject hoping that it will be the fore runner of other such camps 
in this section. Donald R. Crocker, is dean. 



(Continued From Page 208) 

Three therapeutic work relief projects were set up, one in 
connection with the Cook County Hospital for orthopedic and 
cardiac clients; one in connection with the Chicago Tubercu- 
lois Sanitarium to serve arrested cases of tuberculosis; 
one with the Woman's Service Bureau of the Relief Commis- 
sion to serve neurotic women for whom the psychiatrists de- 
sired therapeutic work. The results of this program, supervised 
by doctors and directed by occupational therapists and nurses, 
was very satisfactory, productive of great results for many 
individuals served. When all the work relief program was 
turned over to the WPA, a restriction of the Federal Govern- 
ment prevented the continuance of these services by other 
than public agencies. Since the fall of 1935, the Goodwill In- 
dustries has been carrying on its program on a much limited 
scale because it has had to secure all its financial income from 
the sale of finished products and from miscellaneous donors. 
Since 1935 the program has consisted of a sheltered work acti- 
vity which provides handicapped people with an opportunity 
to be self-supporting. Some therapeutic work and training has 
been carried on, but on a limited scale because of lack of funds. 


For two years following the discontinuance of the projects 
carried on in connection with the government, the organiza- 
tion had considerable difficulty adjusting its finances and pro- 
gram, but this was accomplished, and its service to handicapped 
people has been increasing each year till it has reached its 
present status. There are now over 62,000 homes contributing 
their discarded material. To pick up this material, the Goodwill 
Industries owns and operates ten trucks, in addition to the 
large number which it hires during the spring and fall rush 
seasons. Seven stores, located in the poorer sections of the city, 
are operated by the organization and staffed by handicapped 
salesmen, to sell the material which is reconditioned in the 
shops. In addition to the 27 able-bodied persons who are em- 
ployed on trucks and in supervisory positions, there are 117 
handicapped persons now working in the various departments 
of the organization and receiving $1,100.00 as wages each 
week. Thirty-five types of handicaps are represented among 
these workers : 


Heart condition 


Muscular paralysis 


High Blood Pressure 






Fractured hip 




Stiff knee 




Defective hand 


Stomach Ulcers 


Disabled shoulder 


Parkinson's Disease 


Spine injured 


Bronchitis & Sinus 


Both legs crushed 


Incipient tuberculosis 


Crushed leg 


Loss of an arm 


Side paralyzed 


Loss of a leg 


Floating knee 


Loss of both legs 


Defective vision 




Hard of Hearing 


Club feet 






Speech defects 






Infantile paralysis 


Mental disorders 


Spastic paralysis 




Except during the period when it operated projects in 
connection with the government, the Goodwill Industries has 
been approximately 85 per cent self-supporting through its 
sale of reconditioned material. During the current year of 1941, 
$135,000.00 of its $160,000.00 budget is being derived from 
sales. The balance of the budget must be secured through fin- 
ancial donations. 

The Future 

The Council of Social Agencies of Chicago now looks to the 
Goodwill Industries as the one organization of the city to devel- 
op a large and comprehensive program for the rehabilitation 
of handicapped persons. With the backing of the Council and 
the support of the Church and the public at large, the Good- 
will Industries should continue to expand till it is employing 
ten times as many handicapped people, is operating a voca- 
tional training school for hundreds of disabled persons, is pro- 
viding curative work to remove or minimize the handicaps of 
many men and women each year, and is carrying in a practical 
manner to all the handicapped people of the Chicago Area, the 
message that it is the spiritual values which are important, 
and that a handicapped person can find success and happiness 
in spite of handicaps and often just because of them.